If you and your child’s other parent are divorcing or otherwise going your separate ways but you both plan to remain very active in your child’s life, the court will likely insist that you draft a parenting plan as part of your overall child custody order. The process of creating a parenting plan will allow you both to set expectations concerning communication, transportation, co-parenting duties, and other aspects of raising your child in separate households.
If you and your co-parent cannot work through fundamental differences concerning how this document should be constructed, a judge will need to make a determination regarding whose approach best reflects your child’s best interests. But, if you and your co-parent are willing to work together and with your attorneys to reach mutually-agreeable terms, you can construct this document in whatever ways you both feel are best for everyone.
You and your co-parent can address a variety of issues within the boundaries of your parenting plan. For example, you can detail your parenting time schedule, how you will manage holidays and special occasions, who will be responsible for transportation between houses, and who will pay for your child’s extracurricular activities.
When deciding which issues to address, keep in mind that this order will remain legally binding until the court approves a modification request or your child reaches the age of majority. As a result, you will want terms that will be manageable as time moves forward and will be workable for both households.
Reliability and Flexibility
Whatever issues you choose to address, keep in mind that everyone needs to be able to plan and understand their rights and responsibilities. As a result, consistency is a good goal. With that said, life is unpredictable and everyone’s circumstances will evolve over time. Therefore, you will want to avoid making any terms more rigid than they need to be. By allowing for flexibility – when appropriate – you can avoid tensions that will inevitably arise if someone is frequently falling short of expectations because the expectations set forth in the agreement were too rigid to be reasonable in practice.
Contact a Thoughtful Wheaton, IL Child Custody Lawyer for More Information
Because parenting plans are legally binding documents, it is important to seek legal guidance when drafting them, even if you and your co-parent generally agree on what the terms of the arrangement should consist of.
Get started by connecting with the creative and reputable team of Wheaton, IL child custody lawyers at [[title]]. You can call us at [[phone]] or reach out online to schedule a confidential, risk-free case evaluation at no cost. Once you learn more about our approach to representation and our firm learns more about your family’s unique needs, we can start crafting a parenting plan approach that will benefit you, your child, and the rest of your family given the nature of your unique circumstances. We look forward to speaking with you.