Increasing Your Parenting Time
When the other parent in an allocation of parental responsibilities case is given the majority of the parenting time, it can feel like you will only rarely see your child. However, there are many things you can do to increase your time that you and your children get to spend together. Even if the court has decided it is not in the child’s best interest for you to be the primary caretaker, that does not mean you cannot play a vital role your child’s life.
Right of First Refusal
Under Illinois law, when the child lives primarily with one parent, the other parent can ask the court for the “right of first refusal” when childcare is needed. This means that before the child is put in daycare or a sitter is called, the other parent should be given the chance to be with their child instead.
This situation can benefit everyone involved. You and the child get to spend more time together, and the other parent saves on childcare costs. This arrangement works best when the two parents have an amicable relationship and both parents are willing to be flexible in putting the needs of their child first.
Sharing Carpool and Taxi Duties
Another way to increase the amount of parenting time is to volunteer to drive your child to school or some of his or her extracurricular activities. This seemingly mundane activity can give you the chance to get to know your child’s friends, to be more involved in his or her life, and to share the parenting burden. There is no need take over all driving tasks for this to provide benefits to your relationship with your child. Even if you just drive your child to an activity one or two “extra” times per week, it can help strengthen your bond. Doing so can also help the other parent out and free up some time in the schedule.
While you and the other parent are no longer in a romantic relationship, the better communication the two of you have and the better you are at working together, the better off your child will be. Often, the more you can do to make life easier for the other parent, the more opportunities you will have to spend time with your child.
If you have questions about the allocation of parental rights or parenting time, contact an experienced Kane County family law attorney. Call 630-232-9700 for a confidential consultation at The Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates today.