Arranging the allocation ofparental responsibilities (child custody) and creating a parenting plan with your former spouse are tasks every divorcing parent must face when the marriage comes to an end. Ensuring you have a solid strategy for how you will parent your child following the separation is a crucial part of making sure everyone is on the same page and that your child's best interests are protected during and after the family transition.
The Purpose of a Parenting Plan
Parenting plans cover a broad spectrum of issues in regard to how you and your former spouse will continue to raise your child after the separation, but their main purpose is very straightforward. Parenting plans exist to clarify, organize, and solidify agreements that govern how each parent will manage and execute their involvement in the child's life following the divorce. They are intended to be developed by both parents, often with the help of a at least one professional family law attorney. Before a parenting plan can become effective, it must be approved by the court.
What Your Parenting Plan is Required to Cover
The state of Illinois requires you to make consideration for a number of details when creating your parenting plan. You must address all of the following issues:
- Parenting time (visitation) for each parent. You must specify who is to see the child, when, and under what circumstances;
- Living arrangements for the child and the family as a whole, such as where the child will live and how time will be divided between both parents;
- School-related matters, education arrangements, academic concerns, extracurricular obligations, and who will be responsible for managing and upholding those responsibilities;
- The child's religious upbringing (if any) and how participation and religious practices will be handled moving forward; and
- Health care matters, including who will be responsible for costs, insurance, and any applicable benefits, as well which parent is permitted to make doctors' appointments and other arrangements
Your parenting plan should also include provisions for settling future disagreements. While you and the other parent may cooperate well at the moment, changing circumstances, new love interests and many other factors could lead to difference in opinion down the road. Determine the most efficient means of communication and use it to reach common ground if and when the need arises.
There is a lot of ground to cover when it comes to creating a parenting plan, which is why it is so important to contact an experiencedDuPage County family lawyer for assistance with the arrangements. This is especially the case if you and your former spouse are having difficulty reaching an agreement on certain parenting issues. Call Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC today at (630) 793-6337 for a confidential consultation.