Managing Your Child’s Education in Illinois Child Support and Parenting Plans
Education is a crucial part of a young child’s life and an education that is well-managed early on can benefit a child for the rest of their lives. Although divorce can be disruptive in many areas of a child’s life, it does not have to interfere with a quality education. An important part of getting divorced is creating well-planned child support and parenting agreements. Doing so allows parents a great opportunity to make plans for managing a child’s education and to provide a smooth transition into separate households.
Consider Child Support Deviations
Illinois uses standard formulas when determining child support payments, but a child’s unique academic circumstances can allow for deviation from the norm. Child support typically includes school expenses, like books, supplies, and uniforms, as well as field trips or special events. However, if a child needs more support - like tutoring, one-on-one classroom accommodations, or test prep courses - these can raise monthly child support payments. Parents may also decide to send a child to private school, meaning the cost of a child’s education could be substantially higher, but this must be agreed upon in the divorce decree.
Use a Parenting Plan to Address Academic Goals and Needs
The child support agreement decides how a child’s education will be paid for - but what about deciding what the education will look like on a day-to-day basis? First, parents must consider a variety of factors during and immediately after divorce. These include:
- If parents plan on moving out of the marital home, whether a child’s education will be disrupted or provide the child better academic opportunities
- Whether the benefits of changing schools outweigh any potential disruption to the child’s routine
- Each parent’s availability to be present and helpful with academic matters
- The child’s educational preferences, if age-appropriate
- How a child’s school schedule would mesh with a proposed parenting time arrangement
This can be complicated by the fact that one parent may have exclusive parental rights over the child’s education, meaning one parent is making all of the decisions. If parents can agree to share educational responsibilities, they may be able to provide a child with better support and more opportunities. A parenting agreement can detail each parent’s obligation about any educational matters, and may include:
- How much time a child will spend on extracurricular activities such as sports or musical instruments
- Which parent is responsible for overseeing homework on which days
- Agreed-upon limits for screen time, especially if other responsibilities are not taken care of first
- A regular bedtime so one parent is not totally relaxed about scheduling while a stricter parent is left dealing with frequent weekend schedule “hangovers”
Fortunately, a parenting agreement can be incredibly flexible but should primarily work with the child’s best interests in mind.
Speak with a St. Charles, IL Parenting Agreement Lawyer
Making provisions for a child’s education is one of the most important responsibilities a parent has. Working cooperatively with an ex-spouse can be challenging, but the payoff can result in huge career and educational advancements for a child. If you are trying to create an agreement for your child’s education, consider working with a Kane County parenting plan attorney with Shaw Family Law, P.C.. We can help you create a parenting plan that puts your child’s best interests first. Call us today to schedule a free and confidential consultation at 630-584-5550.