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IL custody lawyerInstead of classifying types of child custody as “joint” - between two parents - or “sole - between one parent - the state of Illinois practices allocation of parental responsibilities. This means that during a divorce, the family court judge and the parents involved will set the terms of a parenting plan that decides who will be the main decision-maker for the children, what amount of time each parent will get with their children, and the rules for when a plan can be modified.

Generally, a parent cannot petition to modify a parenting plan for two years from the date the document was finalized. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act says that parenting plans can only be modified sooner if the child’s physical, emotional, and/or mental well-being is in danger. This can be determined through the enforcement of parental responsibilities.

How Is a Parenting Plan Enforced?

One parent can ask for a petition to check-up on the other parent if they believe the parental responsibilities are not meeting the expectations of the agreement. The parent who is accusing the other of negligence can fill out paperwork describing the evidence they have seen as to how a parenting plan is being violated.

Types of relevant violations include:

  • Physical abuse or neglect
  • Missing appointments and tardiness in school drop-offs
  • Substance abuse
  • Deterioration of the child’s physical health and/or hygiene

If the court finds sufficient evidence to suggest that a parent is not meeting the standards of the parenting plan, they can order family counseling and physical education programs to better educate the parents. They can also decide to modify the parenting plan before the two years are complete.

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Illinois divorce lawyerSummer vacation is right around the corner. If this will be your first summer co-parenting with a parenting plan, it can be easy to get confused about how co-parenting works once school is out for the summer. If you included specific summer vacation plans in your parenting plan, co-parenting this summer can be easy. If you did not, talk to your former spouse about creating a modified parenting schedule for the summer. If you agree on a modification, you can alter your parenting plan at any time.

Adjusting to life after a divorce can be difficult for every member of your family. Use the following guidelines to make this summer the easiest transition possible.

If You Have a Summer Vacation Parenting Plan, Follow It

Many divorcing parents include a summer vacation plan in their parenting time schedules. While the children are out of school, they might spend more weekdays with their non-custodial parent or switch to a weekly alternating schedule, rather than a schedule where they only spend a few fixed days each week with one parent. In your summer parenting plan, be sure to include the start and end date for the seasonal schedule and if applicable, specific, recurring vacations each parent takes. If your child has specific plans for each summer, such as going to summer camp the first week in August, include this as well.

Be Willing to Be Flexible

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