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DuPage County Parenting plan attorneyGetting a divorce when you have children is much different than getting a divorce when you do not have children. Couples who divorce and have children often face a more complicated and stressful situation than couples who do not have children. With the addition of children, there are many different things that must be addressed before you can finalize your divorce. In the state of Illinois, couples are required to have a parenting plan in place before their divorce can be completed. A parenting plan is a document that details the agreement between the couple and outlines many of the issues and procedures relating to the children, including how parenting time will be allocated and how decision-making responsibilities will be handled.

Before you go to court about your parenting plan, you must first attend mediation. Illinois courts believe that families benefit from the use of mediation when issues need to be settled, but they also understand that mediation does not work for everyone. If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement during mediation, you will have to take your case to court where a judge will make determinations about your case.

Components of a Parenting Plan

In your parenting plan, there are certain elements that must be present before the court will approve the plan. At a minimum, the parenting plan should contain information about:

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DuPage County parenting time lawyerDivorce is never easy for anyone, but it can be particularly stressful when a couple has children and they intend to divorce. With children comes a slew of extra issues and arrangements you must agree upon before you can finalize your divorce.

Illinois courts require that you and your spouse have a parenting plan filed with the court before you can finalize your divorce to your spouse. A parenting plan is a document that outlines both significant decision-making responsibilities and parenting time (which is now the term used for child custody). Coming to an agreement on child-related issues can be stressful and sometimes a judge must step in to settle disagreements.

Factors for Consideration

Before a judge steps in and begins allocating parenting time, the parents are encouraged to come up with a parenting time plan on their own. This both increases the likelihood that both parents will stick to the plan, but it also helps foster cooperation and communication between the parents. 

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Naperville child relocaiton lawyerIn many homes, a family may move away from relatives and friends to follow the course of one spouse's career. If, however, the marriage comes to an end, it is only natural that at least part of the family will wish to return home. Or, in another situation, a divorced parent may find another job that removes them from the location of their original family home. Circumstances change continuously, and there are laws designed to help determine the appropriate course of action for families who find themselves in relocation situations. Illinois relocation laws say:

Advanced Notice

When a parent chooses to relocate with a child, they must provide advance written notice to the other parent. This notice must include:

  • The intended moving date;
  • The intended new address;
  • Whether the move is permanent, and if not, it must consist of the length of stay; and
  • The notice must be given at least 60 days in advance, or as soon as the note becomes practical.

Is Notice Always Required?

Parental notice is not always required unless it includes a drastic change to the life of the child. Written notice becomes necessary if the moving parent is the one with whom the child resides most of the time, or if both parents share an equal amount of parenting time. Other considerations include:

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