Creating a Parenting Plan in Illinois

parenting plan, Arlington Heights family law attorneyIf you plan to divorce in Illinois and wish to share custody of your children with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, you will be required to create a parenting agreement. Parenting agreements, also called parenting plans, create the foundation for post-divorce child custody and visitation. Divorcing parents who wish to pursue joint custody are required to sign a joint parenting agreement which outlines how they will share parental responsibilities and resolve disagreements as co-parents.

What to Include in Your Parenting Plan

There are certain elements an Illinois parenting plan must contain. At minimum, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5) requires that a parenting plan include:

  • A designation of the parent who will have the majority of parenting time and who will make most of the decisions about the child’s life;
  • The child’s living arrangements and visitation schedule;
  • Transportation arrangements between the parents;
  • Each parent’s right to access their child’s medical, dental, psychological, school, and child care records (unless denied by a court order or denied because of some type of danger to the child);
  • A mediation provision addressing any proposed reorganization of parenting time or parental responsibilities;
  • The child’s residential address for school;
  • Each parent’s address and personal phone number;
  • Each parent’s place of employment and employment address and phone number;
  • A requirement that if a parent changes his or her residence, he or she must provide the other parent with at least 60 days’ prior written notice of the move. This notice must include the intended date of the move and the new address;
  • Provisions that require the parents to notify the other of any emergencies, travel plans, or other noteworthy child-related subjects;
  • Expectations for how parents will communicate with the child during the other parent’s parenting time;
  • Provisions for resolving relocation issues, if applicable;
  • Requirements for future modifications of the parenting plan;
  • Provisions for the “right of first refusal” and
  • Any other provision that benefits the child or facilitates cooperation between the parents.

The “right of first refusal” refers to the right a parent has to be with his or her child if the other parent does not want their assigned parenting time. For example, if a mother has parenting time scheduled for a particular weekend and wants give up that time, she would need to offer the parenting time to the other parent before calling a babysitter.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Family Law Attorney

If you want further information about the divorce process and child custody law in Illinois, contact the experienced Arlington Heights divorce lawyers at Cosley Law Office. Call 847-253-3100 today.



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