For divorcing couples with children, a parenting plan must be created before you can tie up the loose ends of your divorce and move on with your life. Illinois courts urge parents to create a parenting plan together that contains all of the provisions and stipulations that they wish to abide by once their divorce is finalized. If you do not come up with a parenting plan, or if you are unable to agree upon one, the responsibility then rests on the courts. A judge, along with a team of professionals, will create a parenting plan for your family, but this often results in one or both of the parents being unhappy with the terms of the agreement.
There are certain commonalities that all parenting plans must share, but parents are given a generous amount of freedom in regards to what can be included in a parenting plan. Here are a few things that may not come to mind right away, but are worth consideration for your plan:
Religion: This can be a point of contention between parents, especially if the parents are not of the same religion. Since religion is such a personal matter, it is highly recommended that you and your former spouse make the decision about the child’s religious upbringing together. If the court is forced to intervene, they will most likely make a decision based on prior conduct in regards to the child’s religion.
Medical Care: Health care is an important topic to include in your parenting plan. You and your spouse will be responsible for the child’s health-related decisions until he or she is 18 years old. You should determine how medical decisions will be made and consider the pros and cons of allowing one parent to make medical decisions without input from the other. This can be crucial in emergency situations, but it can also make the other parent feel as if they have less power over the child’s upbringing.
Rules for the Child: It can be confusing for a child to have different rules depending on which roof they are currently under. Many parents come up with a set of rules and expectations that are to be followed regardless of the household the child is in. These can be routines pertaining to homework, chores, bedtime, or anything else you and your spouse wish to specify.
Communication With the Child: Since most parenting plans involve co-parenting, the topic of communication with the non-present parent during the other’s parenting time can come up. You and your spouse should agree upon a set of rules regarding how and when the child can communicate with the other spouse during each other’s parenting time to allow each parent to have quality time with their child.
Our DuPage County Parenting Plan Attorney Can Help
Navigating a divorce can be difficult, especially when there are children that you must take into consideration. In many divorce cases, decisions involving the children are some of the most difficult to settle on. At the Goostree Law Group, we understand the benefit of having everyone in agreement and on the same page when it comes to the parenting plan. Our skilled Wheaton, IL divorce lawyers will help you and your spouse negotiate a plan that works for everyone. If you are going through a divorce and need help creating a parenting plan, call our office today at 630-364-4046 to schedule a free consultation.