The new law regarding Illinois allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, previously referred to as child custody, requires parents to file a parenting plan with the court within 120 days of filing for divorce. The parenting plan can be prepared and filed together or, each party may file a plan separately.
A parenting plan will include a proposed “parenting time” agreement, which may have the child spending roughly equal time between parents or perhaps rotating weekends and splitting summer vacations. Parenting time should reflect what is in the child’s best interest by considering school attendance, proximity to extracurricular activities and the like. Parents will have to come up with a transportation schedule to get their child from points a, b and c and make arrangements for how they will communicate when necessary. There may be other people in the mix such as extended family or a new significant other that may require some additional thought when making parenting time arrangements also. A thorough examination of all the working parts in advance will result in a ironclad plan, helping you avoid costly disagreements down the road.
A parenting plan will also address who will have the “responsibility for making significant decisions”. This will include decisions such as a child’s education or their religious upbringing that will have long-term importance in the life of the child. It may be that one parent will handle all things related to education, while the other takes care of extracurricular activities such as sports. Alternatively, parents may prefer to to work together when making all decisions related to the child or may feel that the child’s interests are better served when one parent takes the reins entirely. Of course, there are other everyday decisions involved in raising a child that require parents’ cooperation and commitment, which may include addressing questions such as “who will pay for health care deductibles and co-pays?” to “how will consistency across households be maintained regarding cell phone use or online access?” Looking ahead while drafting a parenting plan is key.
Questions About Illinois Allocation of Parental Responsibilities and Parenting Time?
Contact an Experienced Illinois Family Law Attorney For Answers
Every family situation is unique and requires some thought to create a parenting plan that works. With so many issues to consider when crafting an Illinois parenting plan, the importance of working with an experienced family law child custody lawyer cannot be understated. If you are divorcing with children and need help working through a parenting plan or are considering modifications to an existing parenting time and parental responsibility agreement, contact the Law Offices of Ronald L. Bell & Associates for assistance today at 847-495-6000.