What Should We Include in Our Illinois Parenting Plan?
Making arrangements for your children during a divorce is a difficult process. It requires the understanding that, no matter what disagreements you have with your spouse, your children need both parents and that this will take some level of cooperation from you both. Tensions can run high and parents often struggle to create a mutually acceptable parenting plan.
Mediators and attorneys can help parents understand their options and negotiate a compromise. In this blog, we will discuss some of the things that parents need to include in their parenting plans. Keep in mind that this is not intended to be legal advice. Your attorney is the best source of information for any questions you may have.
Living Arrangements and Schedules
Illinois recognizes that children do best when both parents are involved in their lives. Judges and courts will encourage involvement from both parents whenever possible, so children will often be spending time between two households. When creating a parenting arrangement, parents will need to consider the distance between each other’s homes and the time and expense involved in moving children back and forth. Although spouses may be tempted to live as far away from each other as possible, this can pose significant challenges for facilitating future visits between parents.
Holidays and Vacations
The importance of holidays, and the accompanying rituals and traditions, can make dividing this time between parents very difficult. Nevertheless, it is better to decide on a holiday arrangement now that will work long-term and avoid conflict well into the future. Parents who can be creative and generous have found many different arrangements that work well with the kids and extended family members. Parents may even find they enjoy having a little time to themselves during an otherwise busy and stressful time of year.
Healthcare and Education
Children need health insurance, and their parents’ jobs will often decide which parent will be responsible for providing coverage. However, both parents will need to work together to decide who will take care of general doctor’s visits, make important medical decisions, and take time off in case a child is sick.
Likewise, parents will need to decide what kind of school the children will attend, who will pay for educational costs, and how children will get to extracurricular activities.
Right of First Refusal
If a parent has the children scheduled to be in their home but needs to be away for an extended period of time, addressing the right of first refusal will allow parents to stipulate when they will seek childcare from the other parent rather than a relative or babysitter.
Speak with a St. Charles Child Custody Attorney
Understanding what to include in your parenting plan can be difficult and stressful. At Shaw Family Law, P.C., we have experience helping hundreds of divorcing parents decide what they want to include in their parenting plan. We will help you understand your options under Illinois law and negotiate for a parenting plan that meets your needs and the needs of your children. Schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced Kane County divorce attorney. Call us today at 630-584-5550.