Illinois Parenting Plans For Allocation Of Parental Responsibilities
Illinois law now provides that decision-making responsibilities may be allocated to divorcing parents in four major areas: education, medical issues, religious upbringing and extra-curricular activities of the children.
Very often it is possible, through effective negotiation, to achieve the results you want regarding your children without having to go through an emotionally draining contested trial.
Our family law attorneys serve clients in Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford Counties and throughout Central Illinois. We have handled numerous contested parenting plan matters that involve the allocation of parental responsibilities, meaning the allocation of decision-making (child custody), parenting time (visitation), fathers’ rights and interstate child relocation cases. We also have substantial experience dealing with mental health issues, professional evaluators and all of the issues inherent in emotional and physical abuse of children and spouses.
Negotiating Joint Decision-Making In Your Parenting Plan (Joint Parenting Agreements)
The reality is that a child can’t be in two places at once. Absent a compelling reason for contact with one parent to be restricted, both parents should have quality time with children. The decision as to how the available hours in the child’s life are allocated between the parents is best made by the parents rather than a judge at the conclusion of a contested trial.
Illinois law allows mothers and fathers to enter into a parenting plan to govern the parental responsibility issues regarding their children following a divorce. The document, which is approved by the court and made a part of the final divorce order, contains their agreements as to how they want to handle parenting decisions, how they want to continue to parent using their expressed values, and how their time with the children will be allocated.
Many parenting plans focus on the mutual discussion and joint decision-making by parents who agree to work together, despite their divorce, to co-parent their children. Joint parenting doesn’t necessarily mean that both parents will have equal time with their children. In fact, under most joint parenting plans, one parent usually maintains the “home base” for the children, and the other parent’s time is focused on weekends, holidays, summertime and days off school or work. The key is that the parents can be as creative as they wish in developing a schedule which will help the children to feel secure and stable.
Our new Illinois law imposes time constraints on the process of developing a parenting plan. One of the steps in the process is mediation. If mediation fails, then you and your lawyer will need to regroup and prepare for a trial with evidence such as psychological evaluations, school records, social media and teacher observations, along with testimony by witnesses familiar with your family.
Interstate Relocation Of Children
In Illinois, a custodial parent must have an extremely compelling reason before he or she will be permitted to relocate with the children from the state. We represent both parents who wish to relocate with a child as well as parents whose parenting plan rights would be affected by a relocation.