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DuPage County divorce attorney parenting plan

As a part of the divorce process, divorcing parents are asked to create a parenting plan and submit it to the court. The parenting plan is a detailed description of numerous different child-related issues. Reaching a decision about each element of the parenting plan is an essential part of establishing each parent’s legal rights and responsibilities. A well-written parenting plan can also help prevent disputes about these rights and obligations in the future. However, parents sometimes struggle to see eye to eye about the issues contained in the parenting plan.

Elements Required in an Illinois Parenting Agreement

There are several different issues that all Illinois parenting plans must address. You will need to decide how you intend to make significant decisions about your child, including decisions about his or her education, religious upbringing, health needs, and extracurricular activities. Another major component of the parenting plan is a parenting time schedule which dictates where the child will live on given days. Parents must also describe how the child will be transported between the parents’ homes. The parenting plan will include provisions about each parent’s right to access important child-related information such as the child’s medical records and school reports. Provisions addressing potential future modifications of the parenting plan, any future parental relocations, the right of first refusal, and several other matters are also typically addressed.

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DuPage County family law attorneysIn just a short time, school-aged children throughout Northern Illinois will be exchanging their textbooks for sunscreen, as summer vacation will soon be upon us. For their part, many parents are also looking forward to a summer filled with family gatherings, day trips, and outdoor adventures. Parents who share parenting time with a former spouse or partner, however, may have to do a little extra planning before they can truly enjoy the warmer months ahead.

What Does Your Parenting Time Plan Say?

If you are subject to a child custody order—also called a parenting plan—the order may spell out summer specifics in regard to parenting time. For example, your plan may explicitly state that your children will be with the other parent for the duration of the summer break, especially if you have primary residential responsibilities during the school year. Other plans may split parenting time during the summer the same way it is divided during the non-summer months. In more casual situations, you may even have the freedom to make parenting time arrangements on a week-by-week basis with the other parent.

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DuPage County family law attorneysFiguring out living arrangements after a divorce can be complicated. Should the father move out of the marital home or should the mother? Where should the children’s favorite toys or school supplies be located? Most divorced parents live in separate homes and their children spend time in each of the two houses. However, some innovative parents have found another way to co-parent. It is called “nesting”—sometimes known as “bird-nest parenting”—and it refers to a living arrangement where children stay in one home and the parents take turns spending time with them.

In such a scenario, for example, the mother may stay with the children in the primary home for two weeks each month. She would then go back to a home of her own for the other two weeks while the father stays with the children.

Nesting Is Not for Everyone

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DuPage County family law attorneysAlthough a divorce does, in effect, separate the family, it does not sever the tie between parents and child. Even in different homes, different cities, or different states, those familial bonds remain. More than that, a child's happiness and overall well-being often hinges on the continuance of a healthy and stable relationship with each parent. So, in most instances, life after divorce means learning how to successfully co-parent in a way that minimizes conflict but still ensures the child feels loved, valued, and connected to each parent. Not sure how to pave this path or where to even begin? The following tips may help.

What is Co-Parenting?

To truly understand how to successfully co-parent, you must first understand the concept. Different for every family in its structure and engagement, co-parenting is a relationship in which both parents have an active role in the day-to-day life of the child. This means that each parent should have contact, time, and decision-making power regarding important details of the child's life, such as their education, healthcare, religion, and extracurricular activities.

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Wheaton, Illinois family law attorneys, post-divorce decree modificationsWhen two people divorce, they may arrive at an acceptable settlement to allocate their property and other interests, including parenting time with children and an amount of support. However, this does not close the book on all marriage-related matters forever. It is possible in Illinois to make certain modifications to your divorce decree after a Judgment is entered, though not all issues may be reopened.

Spousal & Child Support

In Illinois, a modification to either spousal support or child support may be made if a “substantial change in circumstances” has taken place. Modifications usually occur when someone has either sustained a loss (for example, if the noncustodial parent is loses a job), or when someone has had their financial situation improve. However, it is important to remember that until a court rules on a motion for a modification, payments must continue as previously set. If a party ceased paying support, or began to pay less, it could result in a party filing a petition seeking contempt of court.

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From our law office in Wheaton, IL the family law and civil litigation law attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick and Mirabella, represent businesses and individual clients throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois including Wheaton, Naperville, Oak Brook, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Lombard, Downers Grove, Burr Ridge, Lisle, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Winfield, Woodridge, Warrenville and throughout DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties.

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In honor of the passing of our founder, Joseph F. Mirabella, Jr., our offices are closed Friday, January 31, 2020.I Agree