When parents get divorced in Illinois, they are required to establish something called a parenting plan. A parenting plan is what it sounds like and outlines how two parents who are not together anymore will share the joys and duties of raising their child. Parents who were never married may also be required to establish a parenting plan when a child custody or parentage case is brought. These plans are designed to prepare separated parents for successful co-parenting. Having the majority of decisions about co-parenting made in advance can reduce conflict later, as there are fewer undecided issues to argue over. Parenting plans can either be made by the parents or by the Court. Mediation can help parents reach an agreement in many cases. It is important to work with a well-qualified Illinois child custody lawyer when you need a parenting plan.
What Does a Parenting Plan Cover?
A lot of information is included in a parenting plan. The two primary goals of a parenting plan are to create a parenting time schedule and to allocate parental responsibilities. A parenting time schedule was referred to as a “custody and visitation calendar” in the past. Parents often use mediation to help them agree on a parenting time plan, but this issue can be contentious and is often litigated.
Parental responsibilities that must be allocated include:
- Support obligations – Depending on the parenting time plan and other factors such as the child’s needs and each parent’s income, one parent may need to pay child support.
- Providing health insurance – One parent may be obligated to provide health insurance for the child.
- Decision-making – Parents make a lot of decisions on behalf of their children. Parents need to decide how important decisions about the child’s upbringing and day-to-day life should be made. Decisions include how the child should be educated and whether they should receive religious training.
- Medical consent – Can one or both parents consent to medical or mental health care for the child? If the parents disagree on issues concerning the child’s health care, how will that decision be made?
- Other agreements – Parents may include almost any other agreement about how they will co-parent. For example, parents may agree to use a particular method of discipline or parenting tactic to provide consistency for their child.
Each parent should be represented by their own attorney during the process of creating a parenting plan.
Contact a Barrington, IL, Child Custody Lawyer
When you need a parenting plan, [[title]] can help. Nick Richardson, a well-qualified Northwest Cook County child custody attorney, will strive to help you create a comprehensive and helpful parenting plan. Contact his law office at [[phone]] for a complimentary consultation.