Parenting Plans – Writing the Rules
In 2003, Illinois enacted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act which sought to simplify child custody disputes. When parents share custody, both parents can make important life decisions for their child—and a parenting plan, agreed upon by both parents, can help to alleviate visitation and custody conflicts.
Additionally, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act requires that the best interests of a child be considered. Hence, when creating a parenting plan, a child's interests and well-being must be considered.
What is a Parenting Plan?
A parenting plan agreed upon by the parents is essentially a contract, which after being approved by the court, becomes an enforceable order or judgment of the court. Ideally, a parenting plan will help keep parents out of court by having them agree upon child rearing issues in advance. The plan can cover future and current child custody issues as well as a variety of topics that deal with varying aspects of child custody and visitation.
A parenting plan should include each parent's intent, rights and obligations with regard to all decisions affecting the minor children. To draft an exhaustive parenting plan, one should seek the assistance of an experienced and knowledgeable family law attorney.
With respect to visitation, the plan should include when and where a child will be dropped off and picked up for visitation periods. The plan should address holidays, vacations and special days. Further, a visitation agreement should be clear and specific. However, both parents must keep in mind that emergencies may occur. Thus, a parenting plan should be flexible and include details about what each parent should do in the event of an emergency. Good communication is the key to an effective co-parenting plan.
Contact a Knowledgeable Child Custody Attorney
If you need assistance drafting an effective parenting plan, allow one of our Illinois child custody attorneys to serve you today. The attorneys at MKFM Law can help you create a parenting plan that is in the best interests of all parties. Call us today at 630-665-7300, or email us by using our online form, and we will set up a consultation to discuss how we can be of service.