A divorce settlement agreement is a legal document that lays out the terms of a divorce and often includes details regarding child custody and support, property division, spousal maintenance and other relevant factors in a divorce. Parents considering divorce often have questions how child custody and support is addressed in the divorce settlement agreement.
Barring a history of serious abuse or neglect, the court assumes that it is in a child’s best interest to continue a relationship with both parents through a shared parenting time and parental responsibility agreement.
Parenting time speaks to the time a child will spend with each parent, with an emphasis on what is in the best interest of the child. Where will the child reside? Do both parents live in the same community where they can easily share time or does one parent live at a distance? How will parenting time effect a child’s ability to attend school, see friends, and participate in extracurricular or community events? How will holidays and vacations be handled? These are just a handful of questions that must be considered when deciding on the best parenting time arrangement in a divorce.
Parental responsibility addresses how parents will handle important decisions such as where a child attends school, what religious beliefs they will follow, or healthcare they will receive. Sometimes a more involved parent will take on the responsibility for making all consequential decisions for a child or parents might decide to split the responsibilities according to their respective interests or abilities to fulfill the responsibilities.
Child support is calculated using a formula, however, parents must decide who will pay for other expenses such as daycare, healthcare and insurance costs, tuition, and other miscellaneous costs that go with the territory of raising children. A divorce settlement agreement must answer these questions and outline a specific plan, which will go a long way toward fostering cooperation and eliminating contention.
There are many issues to consider when you are a parent contemplating a divorce. Have your questions answered regarding Illinois child custody and support by contacting the Law Offices of Ronald L. Bell & Associates, PC. at 847-495-6000.