Tag Archives: parenting plan

Tips for How to Negotiate a Parenting Plan

DuPage County Divorce LawyerOne of the main priorities of any divorcing parent is to figure out how to create a parenting plan that best supports the child’s development and allows each parent sufficient time and input in the child’s life. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to these agreements because the needs of each child and the circumstances of each family differ.

The most important aspect of any parenting plan is that it includes terms the parents can follow without constant conflict. This is often easier said than done due to the strong emotions involved after divorce. The court expects parents to make a genuine attempt to settle matters on their own, and while a family law judge must approve any plan, the specifics should be worked out between the parents. Courts do not have the capacity to fully analyze and understand the unique dynamics of a family, so any parenting plan created by a judge will be somewhat standard and generic as a result. This risks future litigation to enforce or modify the parenting agreement, a situation that is detrimental to the child’s well-being.

Parenting Plan Checklist

The main issues parents negotiating a parenting plan must settle are how to allocate parenting time and decision-making authority. Custody and visitation are no longer the standards in child-related matters, and the law is more focused on creating an arrangement that allows for a more collaborative approach to co-parenting.

Parenting time refers to how often a parent provides childcare. It must be established how key decisions related to the child will be made, such as school enrollment, medical treatment, religious upbringing, and extracurricular activities. How much time a child is in a parent’s care will depend on the child’s age and the circumstances of the family. Some children will spend a roughly equal amount of time with each parent, while others will primarily live with one and see the other on scheduled days. These two areas cover the minimum that must be addressed in a parenting plan.

Creating Effective Parenting Plans

In addition to the issues mentioned above, another important aspect is a plan for resolving disputes. This allows for easier review and modifications to the plan over time. To better supplement the basic structure, a holiday, birthday, and vacation schedule should be developed. Other potential issues to address include the amount of time the child is permitted to watch television or be on the computer, the age at which the child should receive a cell phone, and how parents will handle disciplinary issues. Finally, provisions related to the introduction of a parent’s new romantic partner to the child is another possible consideration.

Contact a Wheaton, IL Family Law Attorney

Parenting issues are often a source of bitter disagreement, but if these matters are decided in advance through a parenting plan, conflict can be avoided. These agreements are complicated and must be approved by a judge before they become enforceable. For skilled assistance, trust the dedicated DuPage County family law attorneys at Andrew Cores Family Law Group when drafting or modifying a parenting plan. Our years of experience will help you develop the best possible plan for your child. Contact us today at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation.




Successful Co-Parenting During the Holiday Season

DuPage County parenting time lawyer holiday seasonDealing with divorce and separation can be tricky around the holidays, especially when children are involved. Kids may focus on their memories of Christmases past and struggle with their emotions as they adjust to the way their lives have changed this year. Rather than allowing the holiday season to become filled with anger, resentment, sadness, and stress, it is your duty as a parent to generate excitement for this season, giving the gift of joy to both your children, and even to your ex, by creating a parenting time arrangement that works for everyone.

Here are a couple of tips for making that possible:

Do Not Make Children Choose

You and your spouse may disagree about who gets to have parenting time on Christmas Day. Perhaps you cannot come to a civil agreement, because the holiday is equally important to each of you. Whatever you do, do not put the burden of choice on your children. Holiday parenting schedules should be outlined in your parenting time agreement to avoid any confusion.

Your children have bravely endured the changes that come with their parents’ separation, and the last thing that they will want is to choose between the two people they love most in the world. Even if they do have a preference, they may feel uneasy about disclosing their choice, because they do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Parents should work to create a holiday parenting time arrangement and make sure children understand how time will be divided between parents.

One example of a co-parenting holiday arrangement is: one parent gets to spend time with the children on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, while the other parent has the kids during the evening for a family Christmas dinner. In some cases, parents may be able to put aside their differences aside for the sake of the kids and enjoy the day together. The latter option should only be considered if you and your ex can be civil for extended periods.

Begin New Traditions

In the past, your kids may have received holiday pajamas on Christmas Eve and enjoyed hot chocolate and candy canes, followed by family photos of everyone wearing matching pajamas on Christmas Day. Attempting to recreate these types of family traditions after your separation without the participation of the other parent can result in confusion and difficult emotions for children. To avoid this, you should try to get creative as you forge new holiday memories. This year, come up with new traditions, such as dressing in your pajamas and going caroling, reading by the fireplace, or watching holiday movies with some popcorn.

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

If you are currently going through a separation or divorce and are having trouble determining a parenting agreement that works for both you and your ex-spouse, a Wheaton divorce lawyer can help. At Andrew Cores Family Law Group, we have helped many families reach agreements that work for their situation, and we can do the same for you. Schedule your free initial consultation by calling our office at 630-871-1002.



3 Tips For How to Strengthen Your Child Custody Case in Illinois

Wheaton, IL child custody attorney parenting time parental responsibilityf you and your ex-spouse find yourselves unable to reach an agreement when it comes to child custody during your divorce, a judge will create an arrangement for you. An “allocation of parental responsibility” judgment created in court is based primarily upon Illinois law and what the judge considers to be in the best interests of the children, but it will not always work with the lifestyle of your family. When arguing your case in court, your goal is to represent beyond any doubt that more time with you is what is best for your children. Use these tips to help strengthen your case:

1. Educate Yourself

It is essential to understand that every state has a unique set of laws surrounding child custody. To best prepare your case, you should thoroughly investigate the laws and the factors a judge will use to make their decision. In Illinois, judgments of how to allocate parenting time and parental responsibility are based entirely on the best interests of the children, and the factors a judge will consider include:

  • The wishes of everyone involved.
  • The quality of each parent-child relationship.
  • The mental and physical health of all parties.
  • The willingness of each parent to facilitate a relationship with the other parent.
  • Which parent has provided care for children in the past.
  • The ability of a parent to provide a stable and loving environment.
  • The level of adjustment the child has to the current situation.

2. Evaluate Your Positives

Your first instinct may be to tear down the other parent in order to bolster your own good qualities. However, this thinking does not always result in a positive outcome, and it can cause you to lose points when a judge is considering the “willingness of each parent to facilitate a relationship with the other parent.” Instead, focus on your positives. Start with a basic list of why you best meet the criteria described above. Then, begin accumulating hard evidence to support your claims. This may include:

  • Character reference letters from those who know you.
  • A log of hours spent volunteering at your children’s school.
  • Photographic evidence of field trips you have chaperoned.
  • A thank-you note from a parent whose child you coached on a sports team.

3. Get Legal Help from a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

If you are having trouble reaching an agreement on a parenting plan during your divorce, a Wheaton child custody lawyer can help. At Andrew Cores Family Law Group, we will carefully assess your situation, identify your strengths, and use them to your advantage to help you achieve the best possible result in your case. We have guided families to success through even the most tumultuous divorce and child custody cases for more than a decade. Find out how we can help by scheduling your free personalized consultation at our office. Call us today at 630-871-1002.