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Required Elements of an Illinois Parenting Plan

Posted on in Child Custody

Naperville child custody lawyer parenting planWhen you get a divorce in Illinois, and you have children, you are strongly encouraged to come to an agreement with your spouse about how parental responsibilities and parenting time will be divided between you. The court does not decide these things for you unless you and your spouse cannot come to a mutual agreement (known as a parenting plan), but leaving the decision up to a judge is not always in your family’s best interests. Often, the court will order mediation to assist you and your spouse in coming to an agreement about a parenting plan, which must be filed with the court no longer than 120 days after a petition for the allocation of parental responsibilities is filed. Creating a parenting plan can be tedious, but having all of the right elements in your plan will ensure success when implementing it following the finalization of your divorce.

Court-Required Parenting Plan Elements

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, there are certain things that must be addressed in a parenting plan. The plan can contain other information pertaining to the care of the children, but it must at least address the following issues:

  • Who will be responsible for significant decision-making;
  • The child’s living arrangements and each parent’s parenting time, including a schedule or a method of determining the schedule;
  • A method for settling any proposed reallocations;
  • Each parent’s rights to access the child’s medical, dental, and mental health records, child care records, and school and extracurricular activity records, reports, and schedules;
  • The child’s primary residential address for school enrollment purposes;
  • Each parent’s residential addresses, phone numbers, employment addresses, and work phone numbers;
  • A provision stating requirements when a parent changes residences;
  • Transportation arrangements;
  • A provision requiring parents to notify each other about emergencies, health care needs, travel plans, or other relevant child-related issues;
  • A provision concerning how parental communication with the child will be handled during the other parent’s parenting time; and
  • A provision about the right of first refusal.

After a Parenting Plan Is Created

Once you have come to an agreement about your parenting plan, you will attend a hearing at the circuit court in the county in which you live. The court will review the parenting plan to make sure it contains all of the required elements and is formulated in the best interests of the child. The court will then either approve your parenting plan or tell you what needs to be changed in order to gain court approval.

Contact a Wheaton Parental Responsibility Lawyer for Assistance

Creating a parenting plan can be daunting, but with the help of an experienced DuPage County family law attorney, you can rest assured that you have a sound plan in place for your family. The attorneys at Anderson & Associates, P.C. have more than 30 years of combined experience assisting parents in creating parenting plans that protect their parental rights and their children’s best interests. Call our office today at 630-653-9400 to set up an initial consultation.


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