Top Questions About Illinois Parenting Plans
Parents who get divorced have a much greater number of issues to contend with than non-parents. In addition to dividing marital property, figuring out who will keep the marital home, addressing spousal maintenance, and other divorce concerns, parents must also address child custody issues.
If you are getting a divorce in Illinois and you share children with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, it is important to understand exactly what is expected of you. Parents are asked to create a parenting plan that divides parenting time and parental responsibilities. The plan also addresses important parental rights and obligations. Read on to learn about parenting plans in Illinois and what you should do if you need help with your Illinois parenting plan.
What is Parenting Time?
Illinois law requires parents to specifically address over a dozen concerns in the parenting plan. The two main issues parents will need to determine include parenting time and parental responsibilities.
Parenting time is what typically comes to mind when someone says, “child custody.” Parenting time is the time that a parent is responsible for supervising the child and making sure his or her needs are met. This includes feeding and bathing the child, transporting him to and from school, helping with homework, and other everyday concerns. Parents can split parenting time in whatever way makes sense for their particular situation. But the parenting time schedule must be sufficiently detailed so it is legally enforceable in any future custody proceedings.
What Are Parental Responsibilities?
Parenting responsibilities refer to the way parents make major decisions about the child’s life including decisions about health, education, religion, and extracurricular activities. Some parents choose to make one parent the ultimate authority regarding child-related decisions. Others divide parenting responsibilities between the parents.
What if We Cannot Agree on Parenting Issues?
Of course, reaching an agreement about parenting time, parental responsibilities, and other parenting plan provisions is not always easy. If you and your spouse cannot agree on a parenting plan, you can each submit your own plan to the court for consideration. Illinois circuit courts require mediation for child custody disputes unless there is sufficient evidence that mediation would be inappropriate or harmful. If you cannot reach an agreement through mediation, your lawyer may be able to negotiate an out-of-court agreement with the other parent. If no settlement is reached, the case may go to trial.
Contact a DuPage County Child Custody Lawyer
If you are an unmarried parent or a parent getting divorced, contact a Lombard child custody attorney for help with your parenting plan. Call Aldrich & Siedlarz Law, P.C. at 630-953-3000 for a free, confidential consultation.