Ekker Law, P.C. / Steven B. Ekker, Esq.

5 Essential Provisions in Your Illinois Parenting Plan

 Posted on April 24, 2023 in Family Law

Kane County Child Custody LawyerIf you are getting divorced and you share children with your spouse, creating a parenting plan will be an essential aspect of the divorce process. The parenting plan contains all of the need-to-know information about how child custody arrangements will be handled after the divorce. There are several different elements that you must include in your parenting plan according to Illinois law, but you are allowed to include additional information as well. In this blog, we will discuss some of the most important provisions required in an Illinois parenting plan.

The Parenting Time Schedule

In Illinois, the term visitation has been replaced by “parenting time.” When a parent is assigned parenting time, they are responsible for supervising the child, feeding and bathing the child, and handling other basic needs. You can set up the parenting time schedule however you want. Some parents create a plan in which the child spends three days of the week with one parent and four days of the week with the other parent. In other plans, one parent has the child the majority of the time while the other parent only sees the child one or two weekends a month. Your parenting time schedule will depend on your work schedules, your unique needs, and what is best for your child.

The Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

Parental responsibilities refers to a parent’s decision-making authority. Which parent will decide where the child goes to school? Who will be in charge of the child's medical care? Will one parent have ultimate decision-making authority, or will the parents make decisions jointly? The way you allocate parental responsibilities will largely depend on your ability to communicate with each other and work cooperatively to make decisions.

Information About How Proposed Changes to the Plan Will Be Made

It is not uncommon for parents to experience life changes that require a modification to the parenting plan. However, significant conflicts can arise when parents disagree regarding the modification of the parenting plan. This is why it is important to include a provision addressing any proposed changes to the parenting plan and how they will be handled. Will you attend mediation if you cannot reach a decision? These are important issues to consider in advance so that if an issue does arise in the future, you will know how to handle it

Transportation Arrangements

It may not seem like an essential concern, but transportation arrangements are an issue that frequently comes up in co-parenting relationships. Who will transport the child between the two parents’ homes? Who will get the child to and from school? Furthermore, many children are involved in extracurricular activities above and beyond school. They may have sports practice, rehearsals, recitals, and other obligations. Make sure this issue is adequately addressed in your parenting plan.

The Right of First Refusal

The right of first refusal gives a parent the right to watch their child when the other parent cannot. Suppose an unexpected work obligation or other issue comes up and a parent cannot satisfy their parenting time obligation. In that case, they have to let the other parent know and give that parent the opportunity to watch the child before contacting a third party, such as a babysitter, to watch the child. Your parenting plan should include details about how and when the right of first refusal applies.




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