What Should an Illinois Parenting Plan Include?

 Posted on July 11, 2023 in Family Law

St. Charles Child Custody LawyerWhen parents with at least one child in common get divorced in Illinois and will share custody, they must file what is called a parenting plan. Parenting plans may also be needed for parents who were never married, but are separating. A parenting plan is more than a visitation schedule, and more than a child support order. Parenting plans include a wide variety of information and agreements or court orders. In many cases, parenting plans are developed by mutual agreement of the parents outside of court. These plans are of very high importance to both the parents involved and the children involved, as they make quite a few provisions regarding how co-parenting will work after the divorce is finalized. It is important to be represented by an attorney before you begin to discuss future co-parenting plans with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. An attorney can help you understand what rights you as a parent have and what rights your children have in this situation. 

What to Include in a Parenting Plan When You Separate From the Other Parent

The custody and visitation schedule is generally the most important - and sometimes most contentious - part of a parenting plan. Other issues and information that should be addressed in a parenting plan include: 

  • Decision-making responsibility - You will need to address which parent or parents are responsible for making important decisions about the child’s upbringing, such as whether they will be raised in a certain religion. It is also important to determine who will be making decisions about the child’s medical and mental health care. 

  • Conflict resolution - It is fairly likely that conflict will arise as you are carrying out the terms of the parenting plan. Many parents choose to include a mediation provision that requires the parents to attempt to resolve this conflict through mediation before going to court. 

  • Records access - It is best practice to include a provision regarding who will have access to the child’s important records, like their academic and medical records or extracurricular information. 

  • Notification provisions - It can be helpful to both parents to include a provision requiring them to notify the other parent about important developments or emergencies in the child’s life. For example, requiring each parent to notify the other if the child has a medical emergency, gets into trouble at school, or will be traveling can help ensure that both parents are up-to-date on the child’s life. 

  • Communication with the child - What type of communication will each parent have with their child during the other parent’s parenting time? 

These are only a few of the issues that should be addressed in a strong parenting plan. 

Contact a Kane County Child Custody Lawyer

Goostree Law Group’s caring Kane County child custody attorneys will do all we can to help you build a successful and beneficial parenting plan. For a free consultation, please contact us at 630-584-4800




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