What if My Spouse and I Disagree About Our Illinois 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.
Options for Reaching a Resolution
If you and your spouse disagree about the terms of your parenting plan, you have a few different options. You can try to negotiate these issues and reach a compromise with help from your respective attorneys. Another option is to attend family law mediation and work with a skilled mediator. The mediation process has helped countless parents reach a resolution about child custody concerns in an amicable, cooperative way. However, divorce mediation may not be fruitful if there is an especially high degree of contentiousness or a history of domestic violence between the spouses.
Collaborative law is a conflict resolution process during which the spouses’ respective attorneys help facilitate productive discussions and negotiations about the unresolved divorce issues. Neutral third-party experts such as child psychologists may also participate in the collaborative meetings. All of the parties involved will sign a “Participation Agreement” in which they commit to openly sharing information and negotiating in good faith. If no alternative resolution method is successful or the spouses do not wish to pursue these options, courtroom litigation may be necessary to resolve the unsettled issues.
Contact a Wheaton, IL Child Custody Attorney
At MKFM Law, we know just how stressful and complicated child-related concerns can be during your divorce. We are here to help you determine the best route for resolving disagreements and are committed to protecting you and your children’s rights through the divorce process. Call us today at 630-665-7300 to schedule a confidential consultation with a skilled DuPage County divorce lawyer.