Blog posts tagged in parenting plan
In Illinois, the term child custody was replaced by parental responsibilities in 2016. Instead of one or both parents having “custody” of a child, the parents must create an agreement that allocates the parental responsibilities and parenting time. Parenting time is the term that replaced visitation in the 2016 law, as well. This agreement is called a parenting plan.
What Is a Parenting Plan?
When getting a divorce, the parents of a child must decide how the child will be taken care of after the separation. A parenting plan will be drafted that explains which parent has what responsibilities, and who the child will see and when. A schedule will be created that both parents and the child will follow after the divorce. That schedule may include what days a child spends with either parent, who picks up the child from school, and what activities each parent is involved in.
The best way to create a parenting plan is with your attorney. Here are some things to think about when writing a parenting plan:
When beginning the divorce process, it can be easy to get swept up in the societal expectations regarding how parents will raise their children together after separating. However, it is important for parents to understand how the law applies to their situation and use this information to address issues related to their children.
In Illinois, child custody is referred to as the “allocation of parental responsibilities.” In addition, Illinois law uses the term “parenting time” rather than “visitation” to better reflect the fact that both parents should be closely involved in their children’s lives. While attitudes about parents’ roles in raising their children have changed over the past few decades, many myths about how child custody is handled in divorce cases continue to persist. Here are some misconceptions many people have about child custody:
- Parenting Time Can Be Denied if Child Support Is Not Paid - Child support is implemented to allow children of divorced parents to continue to receive the financial support they would have had if their parents had remained married. In Illinois, child support is determined based on the income earned by both parents. It is important to understand that if your ex-spouse does not pay the child support they owe, this does not mean that you can physically keep their child from them. There are situations in which restricting or eliminating parenting time may be justified, but failure to pay child support is not one of them. Child support is a separate issue from parenting time, and a parent may face consequences if they interfere with parenting time in retaliation for non-payment of child support.
- Custody Is Always Given to the Mother - In Illinois, most courts prefer for parents to agree on a joint custody situation, although there are some situations in which sole custody will be granted to one parent. When a custody agreement can be reached, a parenting plan is put into place which states exactly who spends time with the child and when. Decisions about how parenting time is divided will be based on a number of factors, including the child’s needs, the parents’ wishes, and each parent’s history of caring for their children. If sole custody is appropriate, this decision is based on what is best for the child rather than the gender of the parent.
- Parenting Plan Changes Can Be Made Privately - Life situations change, and as your children get older, their needs will change as well. If you and your ex-spouse get along, it may feel simple enough to create changes to your parenting plan together without the need for involving the court. However, if there is ever a disagreement, the court will follow the original parenting plan rather than any private agreements. When making changes to the parenting plan, parents should always file a custody petition with the court, ensuring that the parenting plan can be legally enforced if it ever becomes necessary to do so.
Contact a Joliet Child Custody Attorney
When making decisions about the custody of your children, be sure you understand how the law applies to you rather than relying on common knowledge. An experienced Will County divorce attorney can answer your questions and provide you with certainty regarding your parenting plan. Call our office at 815-726-9200 to schedule a free consultation.
When you and your spouse decide to get a divorce, there are a large number of decisions that need to be made about the various areas of your family’s lives that will be affected by your split. How marital property will be divided is one thing, but perhaps most important is determining how to handle child custody. This can be a time of uncertainty for your children, but a strong parenting plan will help them succeed and ensure that both parents play an active role in their lives after the divorce.
What Is a Parenting Plan?
A parenting plan is an agreement between parents detailing how their children will be cared for after divorce. This plan is an official part of the divorce decree, and it can help make the transition into post-divorce life as seamless as possible for a child as he or she adjusts to living in two homes and dividing time between parents.
A parenting plan should cover visitation (parenting time) schedules, specify how decisions about the health and well-being of the child will be made, and address any special circumstances that suit your family’s unique needs. Here are some tips for creating a successful parenting plan: