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Hillside parenting planNow into its eighth month of significant impact in the U.S., COVID-19 continues to be a daily concern in all areas of life. In public, masks and social distancing are required. In the workplace, many are continuing to work remotely to avoid infection. And in schools, each district has its own arrangements for how students are completing their assignments. Illinois is now in its fourth phase of the reopening process, with stay-at-home orders now ended but group gatherings continuing to be restricted. 

Since the start of the COVID-19 restrictions, divorced parents have still had to continue abiding by their existing court-mandated parenting plans. This includes each parent’s scheduled parenting time as well as their child’s dual living arrangements. Due to the unpredictability of COVID-19 and the vulnerability of particular populations, at the present time, some families may be unsure of how to navigate these unprecedented circumstances.

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Oak Park, IL parenting plan lawyerIn 2016, the way in which Illinois courts determine child custody was changed substantially. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA ) now calls child custody “the allocation of parental responsibilities,” and visitation is now referred to as “parenting time.” Divorcing parents must fill out a “parenting plan” document which states each parent’s parenting time and parenting responsibilities, as well as certain child-related rights and requirements. Reaching decisions about these issues can be challenging – especially in the midst of a contentious divorce. In some cases, the court will make decisions about parental responsibilities and parenting time for the parents.

Resolving Parenting Plan Disputes

Illinois parenting plans must contain a number of provisions, including provisions that address the following:

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Hillside parenting time attorneyWhen it comes to divorce cases, some of the most contentious issues that can arise are those pertaining to a couple’s children. Before you are able to conclude your divorce, the court will want you and your soon-to-be ex to submit a mutually-agreed-upon, written parenting plan. This parenting plan should contain information about parenting time schedules, who has what decision-making rights, dealing with the child’s school holidays, and other issues pertaining to the child. If both parents cannot come to an agreement on a parenting plan, the court will make the parenting plan decisions for the parents.

Determining Factors

Illinois family law courts start out with the presumption that each parent is a fit parent and that no restrictions should be placed on his or her parenting time, unless it is found that the parenting time would endanger the child’s physical, mental, moral, or emotional health. All decisions pertaining to the child need to be based on the child’s best interests. A number of factors are considered when determining parenting time, including:

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Illinois divorce lawyerIt used to be said that children were resilient, and they could recover easily from divorce. We now know this is not true. Recent studies suggest that children may experience a host of problems both during and after divorce, from emotional, behavioral and mental health problems, to maladjustment and developmental issues. Thankfully, parents can mitigate against such problems. The following information explains how.

Strive for a Child-Centered Divorce

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Oak Park family law attorneyMost divorce information sources highlight the benefits of cooperative parenting, but this model is not right for every family. In fact, some parents and children may benefit more from the parallel parenting model. The following outlines the parallel parenting model and explains what it is, when it may be the most appropriate solution, and how parents can make it work for their family.

What is Parallel Parenting?

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