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Naperville child custody lawyerFor divorcing couples with children, a parenting plan must be created before you can tie up the loose ends of your divorce and move on with your life. Illinois courts urge parents to create a parenting plan together that contains all of the provisions and stipulations that they wish to abide by once their divorce is finalized. If you do not come up with a parenting plan, or if you are unable to agree upon one, the responsibility then rests on the courts. A judge, along with a team of professionals, will create a parenting plan for your family, but this often results in one or both of the parents being unhappy with the terms of the agreement.

There are certain commonalities that all parenting plans must share, but parents are given a generous amount of freedom in regards to what can be included in a parenting plan. Here are a few things that may not come to mind right away, but are worth consideration for your plan:

  • Religion: This can be a point of contention between parents, especially if the parents are not of the same religion. Since religion is such a personal matter, it is highly recommended that you and your former spouse make the decision about the child’s religious upbringing together. If the court is forced to intervene, they will most likely make a decision based on prior conduct in regards to the child’s religion.

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Naperville holiday parenting time lawyerIn the midst of the holiday season, families across Illinois are planning how to spend time together during Christmas and New Year's. In addition to the vacations surrounding these days, there are plenty of other holidays and special days throughout the year that can be fought over by parents who are no longer married. Parenting plans are required by all Illinois couples who are divorced and have children. These legal plans must contain a parenting time schedule that is followed throughout the year. Also included in the parenting plan is how holidays will be spent between the two parents. The holiday parenting time schedule will usually supersede the normal parenting time schedule, so it is important for you and your ex to agree on one that works for you.

Examples of Holiday Parenting Schedules

There are a few ways that are commonly used to distribute holiday time amongst parents who are divorced. The Illinois Supreme Court has published a sample parenting plan that is accepted in all Illinois courts and provides more than one way to settle holiday parenting time issues. For simplicity, you can choose their premade holiday parenting plan, or you can determine which specific holidays each parent gets to spend with their child. Many parents choose to personalize their holiday parenting plan so they can create an arrangement that both parents agree on. Common holiday parenting time schedules include:

  • Alternating Years: One of the most common ways parents agree upon sharing holidays is by celebrating them on a rotating schedule. For example, if mom gets the kids for Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Halloween in even years, then dad gets to spend those holidays with the children in odd years. In such an arrangement, you are guaranteed to spend time with your child for almost every holiday on a semi-annual basis. 

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