One of the most critical issues a divorcing couple has to come to an agreement on is child custody, referred to as the allocation of parental responsibilities under Illinois law. While some couples are able to work together to come up with a custody and parenting plan that they both agree on, the relationships of many other couples have broken down so irretrievably that they cannot agree on anything.
Having a seasoned Illinois family lawyer advocating for you and negotiating on your behalf can be crucial to ensuring that your parental rights are protected. The following are some of the issues that should be addressed in your child custody order.
While some issues that should be included in your parenting plan may be obvious, there are other issues that many parents do not even consider including–until after the ink on the agreement has long since dried and the issue becomes a problem. If this happens, it can result in one parent filing requests with the family court to modify the original custody order and the potential for another legal battle.
Some of the issues that parents should make sure are addressed and decided on in their parenting plan includes the following:
How much parenting time will each parent have with the child – The living arrangements for the child needs to be clearly defined in the order. If one parent will be the primary physical custodial parent, this needs to be included.
Where will the child spend special occasions – Parents need to make a schedule of how birthdays (both the child’s and the parents’), holidays, and other special days will be spent.
How will the child spend their school and summer vacations – Parents will need to decide if the usual parenting time schedule will be kept or will school breaks be handled differently?
What will the vacation schedule for each parent be – Some of the factors that should be included in this section include how much notice one parent needs to give to the other and whether the parents will be able to travel out of state with the child.
Will parents have the right of first refusal – If one parent is unable to be with their child during their scheduled parenting time, the right of first refusal gives the other parent the chance to keep the child with them if they want. For example, if a parent has a two-day business trip scheduled during their scheduled time, before obtaining childcare, they must notify the other parent who has the option of having the child with them instead.
If you are going through a divorce and have children, make sure you have a dedicated DuPage County family lawyer representing your best interests. Contact J. Aldrich Law, P.C. today at 630-953-3000 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.