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4 Things to Consider When Addressing Parenting Time in a Family Law Case

 Posted on February 28,2022 in Child Custody

IL family lawyerIssues related to children can be difficult to resolve in family law cases, including situations where married couples choose to get a divorce or where unmarried parents will be ending their relationship. Child custody cases will typically address two separate issues. While the allocation of parental responsibilities (sometimes referred to as “legal custody”) covers parents’ rights to make decisions about how their children will be raised, parenting time (also known as “physical custody”) will address where children will live and whether they will spend most of their time with one parent while having visitation time with the other parent. When creating a parenting plan or joint parenting agreement, parents will need to make sure to consider a number of issues that will help them avoid confusion, protect their parental rights, and provide for their children’s best interests.

Considerations for Parenting Time in a Parenting Plan

A divorce decree or child custody order will include a parenting plan that fully details the decisions made about a couple’s children. This plan will include a schedule stating when children will live or spend time with each parent. There are a variety of different ways that parenting time may be divided, but there is no “standard” schedule defined by law. When negotiating a parenting plan, parents are free to create schedules that they believe will be appropriate, allowing them to provide for their children’s ongoing needs while ensuring that the children will maintain close relationships with both parents.

In addition to creating parenting time schedules that will be followed on a daily basis, a parenting plan will also need to address other issues related to parenting time, including:

  • Holidays and other special days - There are multiple different holidays throughout the year that parents may want to spend with their children, even if these days fall outside of their regular scheduled parenting time. Parents will likely want to divide these holidays fairly, and a parenting plan will usually allow for certain holidays to be alternated between parents each year. Other days may also need to be addressed, such as the birthdays of children, parents, or other family members. Parents may also need to decide how to handle days when children will be on vacation from school, ensuring that they will both have time with children during summer and winter breaks and that children will receive the necessary care and supervision when they are out of school on days that parents will be working.
  • Transportation for children - To avoid confusion or disputes between parents, a parenting plan should fully detail who is responsible for transporting children between the parents’ homes. It may also address transportation at other times, such as to school or other events.
  • Communication between children and parents - A parent may want to maintain regular communication with their children, even when they are in the care of the other parent. However, parents will also want to make sure this communication will not be disruptive or problematic. A parenting agreement may specify the appropriate times when parents may call or otherwise communicate with children and the methods they may use to do so.
  • Rules that apply to parents and children - Parents will likely want to maintain some consistency for their children, and they may decide on rules that will be followed in each parent’s home, such as bedtimes. Parents may also make agreements related to how they will interact with their children, such as deciding on appropriate forms of discipline. Setting these rules down in their parenting plan can provide parents with peace of mind and make sure their concerns will be addressed.

Contact Our Markham Parenting Time Attorneys

At The Foray Firm, we can help you understand your rights and address your concerns as you negotiate a parenting agreement that includes provisions related to parenting time. Contact our Will County parenting plan lawyers at 312-702-1293 to arrange a confidential consultation and get legal help with your divorce or child custody case.



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