If you share children with your spouse and have made the choice to divorce, one of the most important legal decisions you and your partner will have to make is which guidelines to include in your parenting plan. Under Illinois law, a parenting plan is a written agreement that designates certain decision-making responsibilities to each parent, outlining specific parameters that provide structure as to how children should be raised. Parenting plans also govern parenting time (visitation), which is a crucial piece of your family’s new structure following the divorce.
With so many points to cover in your new parental dynamic, the details can be overwhelming to sort out, especially if there is tension between you and the other parent. If you are unsure of where to begin or what will be expected of you as a divorcing parent, familiarizing yourself with the responsibilities that will be allocated can help you organize your thoughts and concerns. Here are some foundational caretaking functions that will be addressed in a parenting plan:
Daily routines - Your children’s daily routines must be maintained, including bedtime and wake-up time, general hygiene practices, and mealtimes. In addition, children must be supervised at all times.
Developmental needs - Parents are responsible for directing their children’s acquisition of motor and language skills and are expected to guide them through the stages of adolescence. Developmental responsibilities also include the building of social techniques, which provide children with the ability to foster interpersonal relationships with their peers and other family members.
Instruction and discipline - Teaching manners, assigning chores, and holding children accountable for those tasks are all disciplinary actions that parents must take responsibility for in a parenting plan. Moral and ethical guidance must be provided, as well as any other instructions that teach your children how to control their behavior and practice self-restraint.
Medical care - Parents must reach an agreement on the type of medical care and treatment that their children receive. In addition, parents must ensure that their children attend necessary medical appointments and keep follow-up appointments in order to maintain good physical and mental health.
School attendance and requirements - Parents are responsible for making sure their children attend school and that they remain in contact with their teachers and counselors. Homework supervision is expected of each parent. Furthermore, parents must reach an agreement on any extracurricular activities that their children participate in. Responsibilities such as time allotments and rules for transportation must be decided.
Religion - A divorcing couple must agree on the religious beliefs that are taught to their children. A parenting plan may address whether or where children will attend church or other religious services and activities, as well as any religious training or education they will receive.
As a parent embarking on the post-divorce life journey, creating and managing an effective parenting plan is essential to the health and well-being of your children and family. There is a lot of ground to cover when it comes to the allocation of parental responsibilities, but you do not have to face it alone. Speaking with a competent, skilled Bloomingdale family law attorney can provide you with the direction and resources needed to craft a solid parenting plan. Schedule a free consultation with Mevorah Law Offices LLC today by calling us at 630-932-9100.
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