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Everything You Need in an Illinois Parenting Plan

 Posted on December 28, 2023 in Child Custody / Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

DuPage County family lawyerParents are encouraged to cooperate after a divorce and develop a parenting plan they can submit to a judge for approval. This should not be an issue in an uncontested divorce, but there is still mediation for parents who cannot cooperate for whatever reason. When parents cannot agree, a judge will intervene and establish a parenting plan that they feel is in the children's best interest. An attorney with experience in family law can help you come up with a parenting plan, including all of the essentials.

Parenting Plan: What is it?

Parenting plans are documents that both parents or a judge can create that detail who will make decisions regarding their children and how they can be made after a divorce. A proper parenting plan will detail parental responsibilities, which include:

This is a simplified list based on the terms found in the Illinois statutes. A more exhaustive list of what to include in a parenting plan would be:

  • A visitation (parenting time) schedule which provides for holidays and vacations
  • The transportation methods for the children between the parents' homes
  • The primary decision maker concerning a child's upbringing
  • Communication methods used by the parents for child-related issues
  • Relocation rules for both parents
  • The right of first refusal
  • How future parenting plan modifications will be handled

What To Remember When Filing a Parenting Plan

Both parents should file a parenting plan to present to the court if they want their desires for their children to be heard. A court may specifically ask for the parents to file a parenting plan, or if a court appearance has yet to be filed, a parenting plan is not required but still encouraged.

Some things to remember when filing a parenting plan include:

  • Parents looking to file a parenting plan must do so within 120 days of requesting parental responsibilities from the court
  • A single parenting plan can be submitted within 120 days but must have the signature of both parents endorsing what is included in the parenting plan
  • Parents who disagree on a parenting plan must submit separate parenting plans
  • The court uses parenting plans while determining the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time
  • Parents who do not file parenting plans will give the power to the court to make decisions in a child's best interest

Contact a DuPage County, IL Family Law Attorney

Parenting plans ensure cooperation between parents concerning their children after a divorce. A parenting plan is legally binding and enforceable by law. As such, your parenting plan should have all the necessities before attempting to file one. An experienced Naperville, IL parenting plan lawyer from Calabrese Associates, P.C. can assist you with your legal needs. Contact the office for a reasonably-priced consultation at 630-393-3111.

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