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630-575-8585

2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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DuPage County divorce attorney parenting plan

Several years ago, Illinois enacted considerable changes to the way child custody is allocated to divorced or unmarried parents. The terms child custody and visitation have been replaced by “parental responsibilities” and “parenting time” respectively. This change is intended to represent parenting authority as a spectrum instead of an either-or situation in which one parent is the custodial parent and the other parent only receives visitation. If you are planning to divorce, you and your spouse may design whatever type of parenting arrangement you see fit. However, if you cannot agree on a parenting plan, the court will determine a plan for you. In order to do so, the court will consider the best interests of the child.  

What Does “Best Interests” Mean?

If there is a dispute about the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, Illinois courts use a series of factors called “best interest factors” to determine what type of parenting arrangement would be best for the child. The best interest factors the court considers when allocating decision-making authority include but are not limited to:

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DuPage County child custody attorney

Going through a divorce when you and your spouse have a child together is often much more complicated than a divorce that does not involve a minor child. There are many questions that divorcing parents will need to address as part of the legal process of ending your marriage, including whether you will share custody of your child or assign the majority of the parental responsibilities to one parent. If you plan to have a co-parenting arrangement, you will need to determine which parent the child will spend the majority of his or her time with, how the child will be transported between households, and a number of other issues, such as parenting time during the holidays.

Parental Responsibilities and Parenting Time

Illinois replaced the terms “child custody” and “visitation” with the terms “allocation of parental responsibilities” and “parenting time” in 2016 as part of a major overhaul of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). Divorcing parents in Illinois must decide how they will distribute parental responsibilities and parenting time, and these decisions will be formalized in their official parenting plan or parenting agreement.

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DuPage County divorce parenting plan attorney

If you and your spouse have children together, and you are going to get divorced in Illinois, you will be required to create a parenting plan or agreement. A parenting plan outlines the way the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time will be managed after the divorce. In some cases, one parent may have all of the parenting time, often referred to as having “sole custody,” but many divorced couples have a shared parenting arrangement. Coming to an agreement about the required provisions in a parenting plan is not always easy, but with an experienced attorney’s help, you can resolve many of these issues. 

Key Elements of a Shared Parenting Arrangement

There are several issues that must be addressed in your parenting plan. You will need to list your child’s official address for school enrollment purposes as well as each parent’s address and contact information. You will need to decide which parent will have the majority of parenting time as well as how important child-related decision-making responsibilities should be divided or shared between the parents. You will also be required to create a plan for how the child will be transported between the two households. An Illinois parenting plan must also include information about how any future proposed changes to the parenting plan or future parental relocations should be handled. There are also provisions describing other parental rights and responsibilities.

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Botti Marinaccio, LTD.

630-575-8585

2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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