Coming up with a parenting plan may become a high hurdle for divorcing couples to clear. The Illinois court requires couples who share children to construct a blueprint for how they plan on conducting their parenting duties post-divorce.
A parenting plan document can stump many couples and become a sticking point for others. Having a basic understanding of the elements to include may help get a strong parenting plan drafted and another divorce document checked off the list.
What is the purpose of a parenting plan?
A parenting plan provides the fundamental agreements a couple makes regarding how they plan to provide care for their children after the split. The main feature of a parenting plan is the schedule setting out with whom the children will reside on any given day in a calendar year. For instance, parents may divide physical custody evenly, and the children may alternate full weeks with each. This parenting time schedule often varies based on the age of the children and each parent’s availability.
What are other issues addressed in it?
Aside from the schedule, an effective parenting plan contains specific agreements on the care of the children. A parenting plan may address who gets the final say when making decisions about the education or medical care for the children. It may also indicate how the children will communicate with the non-custodial parent on any given day or night. Other issues a parenting plan may address include:
- Bedtime routines
- Religious practices
- Schedule change requests
- Extracurricular activities
The parenting plan acts as a framework upon which divorced parents may build. As time passes and the children grow, the court hopes that the couple can continue working in the children’s best interest to adapt the plan.