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Parenting Time Lawyer Chicago

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Parenting Time Lawyer Chicago

Parenting Time Lawyer Chicago

Children have the right to a stable relationship with both parents, even if their parents do not live together. If your ex threatens you that you will lose custody of your children if you do this or that during or after your divorce, you can immediately chalk it up to an empty threat. Illinois law does not award custody to one parent and deprive the other parent of it. In fact, the legal term “custody” can mean decision-making authority in addition to living with the children. Instead, the parents of minor children cannot finalize their divorce until the court has issued a parenting plan that includes details about each parent’s parenting time and role in making decisions about the children’s upbringing. A Chicago parenting time lawyer can help you resolve disputes with your ex-husband or ex-boyfriend about parenting time.

Every Family Needs a Parenting Plan

If you get divorced while your children are minors, you and your spouse must draft a parenting plan.  Most couples are able to agree to the terms of the parenting plan during mediation, at which time the judge signs it into a court order. If you and your spouse cannot agree on some aspects of the parenting plan, the judge will decide them at trial. If you and your children’s father were never legally married, you can still request a court-ordered parenting plan; in fact, you need one as a basis for determining the amount of court-ordered child support.

The parenting plan addresses all aspects of co-parenting except financial ones. For example, it indicates which parent will be with the children on each day of the year, including holidays. It is possible to alternate years for major holidays. The parenting plan also specifies plans for transporting the children from one parent to the other.  You do not always have to drive to your ex’s house; you can meet up at a central location, or on a Monday or Friday, one parent can drop the children off at school, and the other can pick them up. The parenting plan also addresses which parent has the final say on which decisions related to the children’s education, extracurricular activities, and non-emergency medical care.

Modifying and Enforcing Parenting Plans

You should be as specific as possible in your parenting plan in order to avoid disagreements that require you to come back to court. Even a well-designed parenting plan might require modification, though. A 2-2-3 timesharing schedule (two days with Mom, two days with Dad, three days with Mom, two days with Dad, and so on) works well for toddlers, but it is tantamount to chaos for a high school student. Likewise, if you relocate or your work schedule changes, you may need to modify your parenting plan. You can do this by asking the court to issue a new parenting plan.

Contact Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group About Parenting Plans

A Chicago parenting time lawyer can help you draft a parenting plan that enables you and your ex to co-parent your children successfully. Contact Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group in Chicago, Illinois, to discuss your case.

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