How to Create a Successful Parenting Plan During Your Divorce
Getting a divorce is likely to be a stressful time in your life. As you go about the process of separating from your spouse, you will need to divide a variety of things, including both the property you own and the time you spend with your children. While your marital property will be divided based on what is fair and equitable, decisions about children are based on what is in their best interests, and the final decisions are set down in a document called a parenting plan.
What Is a Parenting Plan?
In Illinois, the laws regarding child custody contain some terms that may be unfamiliar to parents. In 2016, the terms “custody” and “visitation” were removed from Illinois family laws and replaced by “parental responsibility” and “parenting time.” A parenting plan created during divorce will address these issues, providing a framework for how matters related to children will be handled going forward. A parenting plan should include a variety of elements, including how parents will divide or share decision-making responsibilities for children, a specific schedule of when children will spend time with each parent, and rules for how parents will communicate with each other. If parents cannot agree with each other about the terms of their parenting plan, then the judge will make a decision based on what is in the best interests of the child.
You may be worried about the prospect of working together with your ex-spouse to create a parenting plan that you can both agree on. Determining how to handle the many issues that must be addressed can be overwhelming, especially since life can be unpredictable, and you do not know what the next several years will hold. However, by following these tips, you can create a successful parenting plan that meets your family’s needs:
- Stay Consistent: Divorce is stressful for your children too, so to ease the transition, keep as much of their life the same as possible. Parents should try to continue the same responsibilities they had prior to the divorce, if possible. Some adjustments will need to be made due to the fact the parents will no longer be living in the same house, but staying as close as possible to what the children are used to will make things easier for them. Be sure to make a plan that you and your ex-spouse will both be able to follow.
- Plan Ahead: While daily and weekly schedules in the parenting plan are important, it is also important to look ahead to holidays or other events in your children’s life. You will want to be sure to address how children will spend traditional family holidays, birthdays, or other special days with each parent, as well as their schedules during summer, winter, and spring vacations from school.
Contact a Geneva Family Law Attorney
If you are not sure where to start with your parenting plan, or if you and our spouse cannot agree about how parental responsibilities should be allocated or how parenting time should be divided, contact an experienced Kane County divorce lawyer. At the Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates, we will provide you with the representation you need during the divorce process, working to protect your parental rights and helping you reach an outcome that provides for your children’s best interests. Call our office today at 630-232-9700 to schedule a consultation.