Holiday Parental Responsibility and Parenting Time After Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away, and many families are currently making plans for the holidays. For recently divorced parents and their children, this season can be a stressful and even contentious time of year. The transition to living in separate households and abiding by custody and visitation arrangements can be difficult when children are used to spending holidays under the same roof. While parents and children need time to adjust to new arrangements, parents can decrease post-divorce stress and anxiety during the holiday season by staying informed about their parental responsibility rights.

Child Custody vs. Parental Responsibility

In educating yourself about Illinois child custody, it is important to know that, though the state has adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), which most states have used to define jurisdictional matters related to child custody, it uses the specific terminology of “allocation of parental responsibility” with regard to laws and processes concerning custody. Here, the thinking is that the new terminology at once resists contentiousness and promotes collaboration in arriving at a custody arrangement that is agreeable to divorced parents and children alike.

Parental Responsibility and Parenting Time

In Illinois law, parental responsibility concerns the right to direct the upbringing of the child. Parental responsibility is about decision-making, specifically with regard to the areas of health, education, religion, and extracurricular activities. Making decisions about a child’s healthcare, where and how they will be schooled, whether or not they will attend church or participation in religious, and the types of extracurricular activities they will be allowed to engage in are all tremendously important matters – ones that bear heavily on a child’s formative years. In some cases, one parent or guardian may have sole responsibility in any or all of these areas. However, it is also possible for parents to work out an agreement in which they share responsibility for making important decisions.

During divorce proceedings, parents will create a Parenting Plan that decides how the different areas of parental responsibility will be allocated. This plan will also define Parenting Time by specifying a schedule of when the children will reside or spend time with each parent. This schedule will not only account for regular, day-to-day parenting time, but it should also define a holiday and vacation schedule, ensuring that everyone understands who children will spend time with each year during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other significant days of the year, including both summer and winter vacations from school.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

When creating a parenting plan that will allocate parental responsibility and define parenting time and holiday schedules, an experienced family law attorney can ensure that you have met all your legal requirements, address any of your concerns, and advocate for your best interests. Contact a dedicated Warrenville divorce lawyer today at 630-836-8540 to schedule a free consultation.