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What Is a Parenting Plan in an Illinois Family Law Case?

 Posted on March 28, 2023 in Illinois Family Law

DuPage County Family Law AttorneyGoing through a divorce is never easy, especially when children are involved. Divorcing parents often worry about their children's well-being, and they will want to ensure that children can continue to have a healthy and happy upbringing. One of the most important aspects of divorce and child custody cases involves creating a parenting plan that outlines how parents will work together to raise their children in the future. Not only is having a parenting plan required by Illinois law, but a well-crafted plan will help ensure that both parents can remain actively involved in their children’s lives.

What Role Will a Parenting Plan Play in a Divorce or Child Custody Case?

A parenting plan, also known as a parenting agreement, is a document that addresses issues related to child custody and provides details about how parents will work together to raise their children after their divorce. This document includes important details such as the parenting time schedule, the parents' rights and obligations regarding decision-making for children, and any other important matters related to the children’s upbringing. The parenting plan will serve as a court order that will go into effect once the divorce or child custody case is finalized. Both parents will be legally required to follow the terms of the plan going forward.

Who Creates the Parenting Plan?

During the divorce process, parents may work together to create a parenting plan that is in the best interests of their children. If they are able to have productive discussions, they may sit down together to work out the details of their plan, or they may negotiate terms with the assistance of their attorneys. Parents may also use mediation to resolve any disagreements and make decisions about the terms of their parenting plan.

If the parents cannot agree on the terms of the plan, each parent may submit their own proposed parenting plan to the court, and the judge in their case may make the final decisions about the allocation of parental responsibilities, parenting time, and other relevant issues. It is important for both parents to be actively involved in the creation of the parenting plan to ensure that everyone’s needs and desires are taken into consideration.

What Is Included in a Parenting Plan?

A parenting plan should be specific and cover all aspects of the parents' responsibilities toward their children and the rules they will follow. It will include a parenting time schedule, which outlines when the children will be with each parent. It will also detail how decision-making authority will be divided or shared, including how parents will make important decisions for their children, such as those related to their education, medical care, and religious upbringing. Other issues that may be addressed may include rules related to discipline or communication between parents and children, transportation arrangements, vacations and holidays, and methods that may be used to resolve disputes that may arise in the future.

Can a Parenting Plan Be Modified?

In some cases, changes may be made to a parenting plan in the years following a divorce or the completion of a child custody case. If both parents agree to a change, it can be implemented fairly easily, although the court will need to verify that a modification would be in the best interests of the children. However, if one parent objects to the change, a petition to modify the parenting plan will need to be filed, and a hearing will be held to determine whether changes should be made. When making decisions about whether a modification request should be granted, a judge will consider whether significant changes have occurred in the lives of the parents or children that require modifications, and they will also determine what would be in the children's best interests.

Contact Our Oakbrook Terrace Parenting Plan Attorneys

Creating a parenting plan is an important part of the divorce process. The plan should be detailed, and specific while covering all aspects of child custody and protecting the best interests of the children involved in the case. With a well-crafted parenting plan in place, ex-spouses can successfully work together as co-parents and ensure that their children’s needs are being met. At Farooqi & Husain Law Office, our DuPage County child custody lawyers can assist in the negotiation of the terms of a parenting plan. We work to ensure that our clients' parental rights are protected and that they can put solutions in place that will provide for their children's needs. Contact us at 630-909-9114 to arrange a consultation and learn more about how we can assist with these matters.



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