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4 Tips For Creating a Successful Parenting Plan For Your TeenFiling for divorce when you and your spouse share children together always makes things more complicated. Add in the challenges of raising a teenager and the process only becomes more difficult. Divorcing as a parent requires additional legal considerations to be made, including the drafting of a parenting plan. If you and your spouse are involved in a collaborative divorce, you will be able to build this plan together as you see fit. The unpredictability of kids when they are in their teenage years may leave you feeling overwhelmed when trying to determine what is best for your child moving forward. The following four tips can help you tailor your parenting plan to meet the needs of your teenager and maintain a relationship with them even though they may be living under two separate roofs:

  1. The More Detailed, The Better – Without a detailed plan in place, things can quickly go awry. Be sure to have a parenting schedule that outlines when your child will be with each parent and determines which holidays will be spent where. Since your child is of the age where they have their own circle of friends and life outside of your home, penciling in designated family time can make sure that your teen is still spending time with each parent.
  2. Consider Their Schedules – When creating your detailed schedule, it is important to take your teen’s schedule into account. Your child is at the point in their life where they have their own interests and activities. Failing to consider these key parts of their life will not end well. Have a copy of you, your spouse, and your child’s schedules in hand while designating each parent’s scheduled time.
  3. Financial Implications – Your teenager comes with some significant costs, especially if they do not have a job. Those over the age of 16 will need financial assistance for academic and social activities and college tuition costs if they intend on going in that direction. Consider these incoming costs and outline who will be responsible for what to avoid future conflicts in this area.
  4. Life Changes – You should include a clause regarding how things may change within your parenting plan and how you and your co-parent will make these decisions. The life of a teenager changes from day-to-day. From their academic responsibilities to their social lives, your teen is only going to become busier and more independent as the years go on. Take this into account when creating your plan so that you are prepared for any changes that may come your way.

Contact a Joliet Family Lawyer For Help

Whether you are in the process of filing for divorce or need help adjusting your parenting plan to meet your teen’s needs, The Foray Firm is here to help. Divorce is an emotionally taxing experience, especially when you have a teenager who has grown up with married parents up until this point. The best way to handle your divorce when you have a child is to have a detailed plan in place. Our Will County family attorneys believe in preserving the dignity of families, even in the instance of divorce. For help with your parenting plan, contact our Joliet divorce attorneys at 312-702-1293.

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How to Successfully Co-Parent After a Contentious DivorceRarely do couples walk away from their spouse without some conflict arising in the divorce process. For some, the property division process can reveal hidden assets or greedy intentions that you never experienced with your spouse throughout your marriage. For parents, deciding their future parental arrangements can bring out an ugly side of them. You may argue over who will be the primary parent, what legal rights you each have, or how often each parent will spend time with the kids. Whether you deliberate over every little detail or have one, large argument that damages your relationship further, it can be difficult to move forward as co-parents. With a combination of good communication and self-recognition, you and your co-parent can begin to transform your damaged romantic past into a well-working, co-parenting relationship.

Self Responsibility

As silly as it may sound, taking good care of yourself – mentally, physically, and emotionally – can in turn improve the way that you treat others. It is important to recognize your successes and faults from your marriage so that you can make progress moving forward. Many divorcees will continue to blame their ex for the breakdown of their marriage and age-old arguments will never be left in the past. If you do not take the time to heal or work on yourself, your past can continue to damage your future relationship with your former spouse. 

Focus on Common Goals

The reason that you and your spouse filed for divorce was a lack of romantic or lifestyle compatibility, not your inability to care for your kids. Even if you still see and do things differently in the parenting department, recognizing that you have a common goal – your child’s happiness – can help bring you back to the real purpose of your continued relationship. If you both acknowledge that your child is your priority, this can help mitigate any other disagreements that you may have about how to raise your child.

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Will County child custody attorney

Many people do not realize the number of steps included in the divorce process, and this number only increases when children are involved. While many may think dividing your belongings is the most difficult portion, formulating a parenting plan can often create the most conflict between divorcing couples. Learning to “share” your child with your ex when you do not live together is difficult for every parent. From the outside, it may seem obvious how you should divide the parenting time; however, this can change during the divorce proceedings. Understanding what is included in a parenting plan and what the various options are is a good idea before stepping into your legal meetings.

 

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Dealing With Your Ex-Spouse’s Relocation After Your Illinois DivorceFinalizing your divorce is often a weight off of your shoulders. After months and maybe even years of arguing back and forth, negotiating and finally settling on certain terms, you can take a deep breath, gather yourself and move on with your life. With the finalization of your divorce comes the finalization of the parenting arrangements for your child, and though things may seem like they have been decided, there will always be the possibility of change.

One major change that you may have to deal with after a divorce is whether your ex-spouse moves or not. Your spouse does not necessarily have to inform you of the move but is required by law to inform you if he or she intends to move with your child. When this happens, it is referred to as relocation, and you can either consent to the relocation or fight it.

Before You Go to Court

If your spouse intends to relocate with your child more than 25 miles away from his or her current home, Illinois law requires that he or she give you written notice of the intended relocation at least 60 days prior to the date of the move. If you do not want to protest the relocation, you can sign the notice and file it with the clerk of the circuit court to allow your ex-spouse to relocate with your child. If you do not sign the notice or you and your ex-spouse cannot come to an agreement on a parenting plan modification, your spouse can file a petition to seek to relocate.  

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Creating a Solid Illinois Parenting PlanDivorces can be tough on everyone in the family. For children, a divorce can be especially stressful. Many parents worry about their children when they decide to get a divorce, but children are unique. They may not initially react well to the change, but children are adaptable and will get used to their new living situation quickly. One of the best things you can do to help your child transition easily is making sure there is a sound parenting plan in place before you finalize your divorce.

What is a Parenting Plan?

In Illinois, all couples who have children and are filing for divorce must create a parenting plan before the divorce can be finalized. A parenting plan is a written agreement that outlines most things pertaining to the children of the marriage, including allocated parenting time and significant decision-making responsibilities.

Elements of a Parenting Plan 

Illinois courts urge couples to try to come up with a parenting plan between the two of them before any intervention happens. If the parents cannot agree on a parenting plan, they will be sent to mediation. If mediation still does not produce a parenting plan, then the judge will make decisions about the children that will go into the parenting plan. 

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