After a divorce, most parents want to ensure that they can spend as much time as possible with their children. However, parents who work or attend school will need to balance their parenting responsibilities with these other demands on their time. This can be especially difficult for single parents who may not be able to rely on the other parent’s assistance as they did when they were married. As you prepare for a divorce, you should be sure to understand your child care needs and consider how to address them in your divorce resolution.
Strategies For Managing Your Child Care Needs
You may think of providing for your children’s care as a personal responsibility that has little to do with your divorce proceedings. However, there are several aspects of the divorce process through which you can address child care. These include:
Creating a thoughtful parenting time schedule. If you and your spouse can cooperate, the court will allow you to work together to create a parenting time schedule that addresses the days and nights your children will stay with each parent, as well as plans for exchanges between homes. As you iron out a schedule that meets your needs, you should keep your work schedule in mind and try to reach an arrangement that minimizes overlap between your parenting time and your work responsibilities.
Including the right of first refusal in your parenting plan. The right of first refusal is a provision through which a parent has the first opportunity to care for their children when the other parent needs child care during their scheduled parenting time. This not only allows parents to spend more time with their children, but it can also save you from the challenge of making alternative child care arrangements.
Including child care expenses in the child support order. Child care costs are not part of the basic child support calculation in Illinois, but the court may include them in the support order when one or both parents need child care to allow them to work or further their education. This ensures that both parents are obligated to contribute fairly to the expenses.
Aside from these options for addressing child care in your divorce order, it is also a good idea to look to your support system of family and trusted friends for help with child care that may be more affordable.
Contact a Will County Family Law Attorney
At The Foray Firm, we understand the challenges that working parents face after a divorce, and we can help you manage those challenges through divorce agreement terms regarding parenting time and child support. For a consultation with an experienced Joliet, IL divorce lawyer, contact us today at 312-702-1293.