Parents who get divorced have seemingly countless matters to figure out. Child custody, child support, and other child-related legal issues can be complex – legally and emotionally. If you are getting divorced and you and your spouse disagree on the terms of child custody, you may understandably be feeling overwhelmed. It can be hard to know where to even begin. This blog will discuss Illinois laws regarding child custody disputes and what to do if you need help with custody concerns during your divorce.
Essentials of an Illinois Parenting Plan
The parenting plan or parenting agreement forms the foundation of any child custody arrangement. The main elements contained in the parenting plan include:
Allocation of parental responsibilities – Parents will need to determine how major decisions about their child’s life will be made. Parents may decide to make decisions about their child’s education, healthcare, religion, and other significant issues jointly or each parent may be designated specific decision-making authority. Alternatively, one parent may be given sole decision-making authority.
Parenting time schedule – Parents will need to decide when the child lives with each parent. The parent with the majority of the parenting time is typically the parent who receives child support.
Each parent’s rights – The parenting plan also contains important rights, including the right to access medical records and school reports and the right of first refusal. How the parents will handle future modifications of the parenting plan, how the child will communicate with each parent during the other parent’s parenting time, and several other issues are included in the parenting plan.
Negotiating an Agreement on the Parenting Plan Elements
If you and your child’s other parent disagree on how much parenting time each person should receive, how major decisions about the child are made, or other child custody issues, you have a few different options. Some parents are able to attend divorce mediation and reach an agreement on the unresolved issues. Others can negotiate a settlement through their respective attorneys. The attorneys may be able to communicate on the spouses’ behalf and find a customized solution both parents agree to.
The other option is to let the court handle child custody determinations. If all else fails, the court will listen to arguments and evidence from both parties and then make a decision that is in the child’s best interests.
Contact a St. Charles Divorce Lawyer
Our Kane County child custody attorneys provide skilled legal guidance and dependable support to parents going through a divorce. Call us for help today at [[phone]].