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What Are the Requirements for a Parenting Plan in an Illinois Divorce?

Posted on in Family Law

Lombard, IL Child Custody LawyerIf you are considering a divorce in Illinois, if you have separated from your spouse and are preparing to file for divorce, or if you have already begun the divorce process, it is important to understand the laws that will apply to you and the requirements you will need to meet. If you and your spouse have children, there are a number of issues that you will need to address during your case, including creating a parenting plan. This plan will outline the rights and responsibilities of both you and your spouse in regard to your children, as well as the rules that will apply to both of you. By understanding what must be included in your parenting plan, you can make sure issues related to child custody will be handled correctly during your divorce.

The Purpose of a Parenting Plan

A parenting plan serves as a blueprint outlining how you and the other parent will share responsibilities and decision-making authority regarding your children’s upbringing. It also sets forth provisions related to parenting time, holidays, vacation plans, and rules you will follow as you raise your children, provide care for them in your homes, and attend to their personal, medical, and educational needs. The goal of a parenting plan is to ensure that both parents will be actively involved in raising your children after your divorce is finalized.

During the divorce process, you and your spouse may negotiate the terms of your parenting plan, and if you are able to reach agreements, you can submit a parenting plan to the court together. However, if there are disagreements, you can each submit your own proposed parenting plan and ask the court to make decisions about which terms should be included in the final parenting plan. To resolve any outstanding disagreements, a judge may order the two of you to participate in mediation. If an agreement still cannot be reached, a trial may be held, and after reviewing evidence and testimony presented by both sides, the judge will make the final decisions about the terms of the parenting plan.

Requirements of an Illinois Parenting Plan

In order for an Illinois parenting plan to be accepted by the court, it must include certain elements. These include:

  • The allocation of parental responsibilities, which will detail each parent's decision-making authority in the areas of education, health, extracurricular activities, and religion.

  • A schedule specifying when each parent will have parenting time. This schedule will address overnights, weekdays, weekends, summer vacations, holidays, etc. 

  • The children's primary residence for school registration purposes.

  • Transportation arrangements when children are traveling between the parents' households, including whether parents will pick up or drop off children at each other's homes or meet in other locations to transfer children.

  • Terms detailing each parent's right to access information about the children, such as medical records and educational information.

  • Rules governing communication between one parent and the children during the other parent's parenting time.

  • Mediation provisions that detail how parents will attempt to amicably settle disputes that may arise in the future, including any proposed modifications to the allocation of parental responsibilities or parenting time.

  • Provisions addressing parental relocation if a parent chooses to move to a new home with children in the future, including the requirement to notify the other parent of their plans to relocate.

  • Provisions for the right of first refusal, if the parents have agreed to include these terms. This will require a parent to contact the other parent to see if they are available in situations where a parent will not be able to provide care for children during their scheduled parenting time.

  • Any other terms that parents may wish to include that will provide for their children's best interests and encourage them to cooperate with each other when addressing child-related issues.

Contact Our Naperville Parenting Plan Lawyers

Creating a parenting plan requires thoughtful consideration. This document will outline your rights and responsibilities towards your children after your divorce is finalized, and it can play a key role in how you and the other parent interact with each other as you work together to raise your children. To ensure that your parenting plan meets all legal requirements while protecting your parental rights, it is crucial to work with an experienced Lombard child custody attorney. At Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices, we can help you negotiate a parenting plan that will meet your needs, and we will help you resolve any disputes that may arise during your divorce. Contact us at 630-932-9100 for a free consultation.


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