Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C.
High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213, Hillside, IL 60162
High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213
Hillside, IL 60162



What Topics Will Be Addressed in an Illinois Parenting Plan?

 Posted on April 14, 2024 in Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

Oak Park, IL divorce lawyerWhen going through a divorce or legal separation, parents of minor children will need to consider a variety of topics related to child custody (now called “parental responsibilities” under Illinois law).. It is important to make sure these matters are addressed correctly, since the decisions made can affect parents and children for years to come. 

During the legal process, one of the most crucial tasks will involve producing a parenting plan that addresses the well-being of a couple’s children. An experienced family law attorney can ensure that a divorcing couple’s parenting plan aligns with Illinois law, while also safeguarding the best interests of the children.

What Is a Parenting Plan?

Divorcing spouses will frequently negotiate a divorce settlement, which will include a parenting plan that addresses various child custody issues. For unmarried parents who are separated, a parenting plan will be created during their child custody case. In Illinois, such parenting plans are mandatory, and must be submitted for court approval to ensure that the children's best interests are prioritized.

The parenting plan will be a comprehensive document that outlines how parents will share the responsibilities of raising their children. It serves as a roadmap, detailing decision-making responsibilities, parenting time, and other essential subjects. The goal is to foster a stable environment for the child, and to ensure that parents understand how decisions will be made, and how conflicts will be resolved. 

Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

In Illinois, the term "allocation of parental responsibilities" refers to what the decision-making process will be regarding aspects of the child's life. When addressing child custody, a parenting plan needs to provide details about whether one or both parents will make significant decisions with regard to the child. If decision-making responsibility is going to be shared, the plan may provide guidance on how decisions will be made. Areas of decision-making responsibility include:

  • Education: The plan may address the schools children will attend, and other education-related matters, such as whether tutoring will be used;

  • Health care: The plan may detail how choices regarding children’s doctors and medical treatments will be made;

  • Religion: If applicable, the plan may detail how the child's religious upbringing will be handled, such as whether they will attend church or receive religious education;

  • Extracurricular activities: The plan may specify how parents will decide what activities the children will participate in, as well as the parents’ individual responsibilities for assisting with such activities.

Parenting Time (Visitation)

The time that children will spend in the care of each parent is another key element of a parenting plan. Issues related to parenting time that may be addressed include:

  • Regular schedule: An ongoing weekly or monthly schedule will be created, detailing the specific days and times that children will either live with each parent, or spend time with them for shorter periods;

  • Holidays and vacations: The plan will specify how special days will be divided between parents, including major holidays, days and times when children will not be attending school, and the birthdays of the children, of the parents and other family members;

  • Transportation and exchanges: Information should be provided about how children will transition between the parents’ homes, including how pickups and dropoffs will occur, rules for communication between the parents, and address situations where exceptions to the regular arrangements may be appropriate.

Additional Elements of a Parenting Plan

Beyond the primary issues related to the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, a parenting plan should also address the following topics:

  • Communication: Guidelines may be provided for how parents will communicate with each other, as well as with the children;

  • Modifications: Parents may detail procedures for making changes to the plan as their children grow, or as circumstances change;

  • Dispute resolution: Parents may list methods and/or resources that can be used to resolve any disagreements that may arise regarding the parenting plan.

Contact Our Oak Park, IL Parenting Plan Attorney

Creating a well thought-out parenting plan is one of the most important steps in ensuring that you will be able to parent your children effectively after a separation or divorce. At Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C., our Hillside, IL child custody lawyer can provide valuable guidance to help draft a parenting plan that is fair, comprehensive, and in the best interests of your children. We will ensure that your parental rights are protected, and that your plan is in conformity with the applicable laws and legal standards. To set up a free consultation and learn how we can assist with your case, contact our firm today at 708-449-7404.

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