Parenting is not easy under normal circumstances, but parenting during divorce tests the limits of even the most patient parents. Raising a child with a former spouse, especially if there are years of marital conflict preceding the divorce, is a very challenging endeavor. Recognizing this, parents getting divorced in Illinois are required to submit a detailed parenting plan for approval by an Illinois court. Here are three tips for getting the most out of your parenting plan.
While the last thing you may want to do with your ex is sit down and discuss important aspects of your co-parenting future, the time and cooperation you invest in this process now can reward you for many years to come. Spouses who work together to create a parenting plan are more likely to be satisfied than spouses who wait and rely on a judge to create one for them. Even when it seems impossible, mediation can help high-conflict couples focus on specific issues to create a parenting plan that works for everyone.
Include as Many Details as Possible
While every parenting plan is required to address certain issues, such as where the child will spend her time, how parents will move a child between houses, and which parent will make certain important decisions on the child’s behalf, parents can include additional details. While it may initially seem counterintuitive, especially for contentious exes, creating a highly detailed parenting plan can actually prevent conflict in the future by anticipating potential problems and solving them ahead of time. Parents can also include a plan for what to do when they cannot reach an agreement in the future.
Put the Child’s Best Interests First
Parents often make the mistake of using their parenting plan as another opportunity to engage in the same patterns of conflict they fell into during their marriage. Instead, experts suggest keeping the focus on what is best for the children. When parental needs do come into the picture, they should be focused on practical logistics so personal differences can be kept to a minimum. When it is age-appropriate, parents may wish to consult their children and take their preferences into consideration.
Meet with a DuPage County Family Lawyer
When you create a parenting plan, you want to have a document that reflects your family’s unique needs and preferences for many years to come. For help making a parenting plan that works for you, schedule a meeting with an experienced Wheaton parenting plan attorney with Andrew Cores Family Law Group. We have many years of experience in family law and can help you navigate this and all other aspects of your divorce. Call us today at 630-871-1002.