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Parental Responsibilities: Making a Parenting Plan

 Posted on June 12, 2023 in Child Custody

naperville child custody lawyerParental responsibilities refer to essential decisions regarding children of divorced or unmarried parents. Parenting plans state who will make the important decisions for a child and how these decisions are made. A parenting plan also needs to include information about parenting time, or the time each parent will spend with the child. 

The parenting plans must be filed 120 days after asking for parental responsibilities. The parties can file a single parenting plan if both parties agree on parental responsibilities. Both parents must sign this. If parties disagree, then they should file separate plans. If neither party creates a parenting plan, then the court will determine the terms of the parenting plan based on what is in the child’s best interests. 

In an Illinois divorce case, parenting time is the amount of time each parent will have with the child or children. It is important to note that parenting time does not necessarily equate to legal custody rights; rather, it refers solely to how much physical time a parent is allowed with the child or children on a regular basis. Parenting time may also be referred to as visitation rights.

The goal of parenting time is to allow both parents a meaningful relationship with their child or children with as little disruption to the child's life as possible. To this end, parents will typically agree on an arrangement that works for them and allows each parent to have regular access to the child or children. However, if parents cannot reach an agreement, the court may step in and make a decision on parenting time based upon what it believes to be in the best interests of the child or children.

Parenting time can include overnight visits, weekend visits, holiday visits, summertime visits, and various other arrangements designed to allow both parents access to the child or children.

For parents who share joint custody, a judge may order a "right of first refusal" (ROFR). This means a parent must allow the other parent the chance to care for their child if they are unable do so during their scheduled times. Both parents can also agree to a ROFR. If they are unable to find an agreement, then the judge can make the decision for these things: 

  • Time a parent can be away before a ROFR applies 

  • The situations a ROFR can apply to

  • The notification of the other parent

  • Transportation decisions 

  • Other issues involving the best ways to protect the child 

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney 

Divorce involving children is always challenging. We understand that you only want the best for your children, and we want the same. Making these tough decisions on your own can be difficult, especially if there are disagreements between yourself and the other parent. We can help ensure everything works out in your best interest and, most importantly, your child's. Contact our DuPage County family law attorneys at Pesce Law Group, P.C., by calling 630-352-2240. We want to help guide and aid you through this process as best as possible. 




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