Should I Update My Parenting Plan Due to Illinois’ Stay-at-Home Order?
Governor Pritzker has extended the Illinois Stay-at-Home Executive Order through the end of April. This new state government guideline has required many Illinois residents to adjust to a “new normal” in terms of their daily activities. Such a major impact even might affect the terms of your child custody agreements. In some cases, you and your co-parent may agree to make temporary changes to ensure your family’s health and safety during the order, but in other cases, you might need to update your parenting agreement.
4 Ways the Stay-at-Home Order Could Alter Parenting Plans
If you are a divorced or unmarried parent, you might want to revisit your parenting plan in light of the Stay-at-Home Order. While your overall parental responsibilities will likely not be affected, you may need to make adjustments to parenting time schedules, or you might want to include changes that address other issues. Here are some reasons your parenting plan might need to be updated:
Sickness—Obviously, if you or the other co-parent are sick with a dangerous contagious disease, self-quarantine might be necessary, but that does not necessarily mean the sick parent cannot see his/her child. The parent who is not sick should make an effort to let the sick parent visit with the child as regularly planned, even if it is through video conferencing or by telephone.
Travel—If the parents live far away from each other, and visits with a parent would require dangerous travel—be it via airplane or public transportation—for either the parent or the child, then different accommodations might need to be made until social distancing restrictions have been relaxed.
More Time at Home/Absence of School Activities—Schools have been closed due to the Stay-at-Home Order. Even though children will be receiving schooling at home, and they will have assignments to keep them busy, a parent may need to stay home with them to provide care. Depending on both parents’ work schedules and your ability to work from home, you may need to revise your parenting time arrangements to ensure that one of you can provide care for your children.
No Public Interactions—If you and your co-parent are required by court order to engage in activities with your child that take place in public, you may not be able to meet these requirements due to the closure of many public places. To avoid putting yourselves or your children in danger, you may need to temporarily halt these types of activities or determine other arrangements that will allow you to continue spending time with your children.
These are only some examples of why a parenting plan might need to be updated, and the temporary or permanent modifications you may need to make will depend on your unique situation. While Illinois’ Stay-at-Home Executive Order went into effect on March 21 and will last at least through April 30, if not longer, it is worth noting that abiding by court-ordered parenting time agreements is considered an essential activity, provided it does not place the health of the child or the parents in jeopardy. Ultimately, you and your co-parent must use your best judgment. If your child’s other parent is not acting in good faith or is refusing to follow the court’s orders, legal intervention might be necessary.
Contact a Wheaton, IL Family Law Attorney
If you would like to revise your parenting plan, or if you need to address any violations of the court’s orders by your ex-spouse, call a DuPage County parenting time lawyer at 630-871-1002 to determine your best options. The knowledgeable team at Andrew Cores Family Law Group will provide you with a free consultation, and we will help you understand how you can maintain your parental rights while protecting your children’s health, safety, and well-being.