What Should Be Included in a Parenting Plan in Illinois?
During the divorce process, many of the most difficult decisions for parents revolve around the living arrangements and care of their children. If divorcing spouses are on relatively amicable terms, compromise and cooperation may be possible. For those in a more contentious environment, reaching a mutually acceptable plan may be a struggle. No matter how strained their relationship is, there are some situations that all parents going through a divorce should plan for in their parenting plan. An experienced divorce attorney can help guide you through the process.
Parenting Plan Elements
Residence, Schedules, and Holidays - To keep both parents involved in a child’s life on a regular basis, children often split time between the homes of both parents. The parents should work together to determine the best schedule for the needs of the child while being cognizant of each other’s schedules as well as minimizing travel time back and forth. Dividing time around holidays should also be addressed well in advance since holidays have the potential to cause conflict.
Education – Parents should agree on what school their child should attend, be it public, private, or religious, and address payments for tuition or other fees if applicable. They should also coordinate their child’s participation in any school-related extracurricular activities and determine who is responsible for pick up and drop-offs.
Medical and Healthcare – The parents should work together to decide the best arrangement for the child’s health insurance. The plan should also address who is responsible for getting the child to the doctor, watching the child when they are sick, and how they plan to make important decisions on the child’s medical care. This is even more important if the child has an ongoing medical condition that requires regular care or doctor appointments.
Right of First Refusal – When a parent has a conflict and cannot care for the child according to the normal parenting time schedule, the plan should address whether the other parent has the right to care for the child before another relative or babysitter is contacted.
Modifications - Any parenting plan should also include instructions for how the parenting plan can be changed, how often the plan will be reviewed, and how the parents will work together to address and resolve any disagreements about future child-related decisions.
Contact an Arlington Heights Divorce Attorney
Going through a divorce with children is difficult. At the Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C., we strive to make the process easier and more understandable for our clients. We will help you understand what goes into a parenting plan and how it can best meet your needs and the needs of your children. Call our office today at 847.873.6741 for a free consultation with one of our Palatine child custody lawyers.