Creating an Illinois Parenting Plan That Fits Busy Holiday Schedules

Posted on in Divorce

If you have children and are recently divorced or are in the middle of the divorce process, issues related to parental responsibility and parenting time may be a significant source of stress right now. The reason: the holidays. As parents coordinate time family and friends, plan holiday activities, and determine schedules while kids are home from school during their winter break, a fair and reasonable allocation of parental responsibilities is imperative.

Illinois Law Requires a Parenting Plan

No matter whether you have an amicable or contentious relationship with your ex-spouse or ex-partner, when it comes to the allocation of parental responsibilities, you are bound by Illinois law to obtain a court-ordered parenting plan. With a well-crafted and drafted parenting plan, each parent and the state of Illinois will have total clarity as to the legal rights and obligations of both parents as concerns their children.

Decision Making and Parenting Time Are the Cornerstones of a Parenting Plan

The legal rights and obligations allocated to each parent in an Illinois parenting plan cover two major areas: 1) decision-making responsibility, and 2) parenting time (sometimes termed “visitation”). In other words, a parenting plan concerns all of the important things that go together to form the upbringing of a child.

In terms of decision-making, until the child reaches the age of majority (18 years of age in Illinois), it is the province of the child’s parents to determine whether the child will participate in religious activities, the type and frequency of healthcare that the child will receive, what school the child will attend, and what extracurricular activities the child will be involved in. A parenting plan may allocate responsibility to either parent in each of these four areas, or it may state that parents will share responsibility in any or all of these types of decision-making.

Parenting time, as the term implies, concerns the amount of in-person time each parent is allocated under the parenting plan, including where the child will live on weekdays and weekends. A parenting plan should specify the regular parenting time schedule, as well as the schedule for holidays and winter and summer vacations.

Advocating for Your Parental Rights and Meeting Your Parenting Obligations

Clearly, legally establishing your decision-making and parenting time rights and obligations is essential in ensuring that holiday scheduling with your children is planned and undertaken as smoothly as possible. When resolving issues related to your court-ordered Illinois parenting plan, the experienced, compassionate attorneys at the Law Offices of Nancy Kasko, LLC can help you make sure that you have met your legal requirements and advocate for your and your children’s best interests. Contact a Wheaton family law attorney at 630-836-8540 to schedule a free consultation.