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Wheaton child custody attorneysDuring the divorce process, one of the most important items for both parents to agree to is a parenting plan that addresses parenting time and parental responsibilities. This agreement may come about through negotiation, mediation, or other collaborative methods between you and your spouse, or it may come in the form of a court ruling issued by a judge, but in either case the terms are legally binding. In the months and years following your divorce, if you find that your ex is failing or refusing to honor the agreement, you may need to pursue the legal enforcement of your divorce order.

Common Parenting Plan Violations in Illinois

Parenting plan breaches may arise out of carelessness, hostility, a change in the relationship between you and your ex, or resentment surrounding the initial terms of the agreement. Some of the most common violations include:

  • Refusing to allow the children to spend their allocated time with the other parent
  • Frequent lateness when transporting the children to the other parent
  • Attempted interruptions of the other parent’s allocated time
  • Refusing to care for the children during one’s allocated time
  • Relocating with the child without obtaining necessary permission under Illinois law

If your ex is engaging in any of these behaviors, you should first attempt to resolve the dispute on your own, provided that doing so does not put you or your children in danger. If the behavior continues, your next step is to file a petition for enforcement with the court.

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Illinois parenting plan lawyersWhen parents file for divorce, they are required to complete a parenting plan that outlines their wishes on parenting time and the allocation of parental responsibilities. Of course, since every family is unique, each parenting plan is (and should be) different. However, these variances in needs, desires, and circumstances can make what sounds like a straightforward process rather complicated. Learn how to make the most of your parenting plan by adopting some creative parenting plan solutions that may address your family’s unique needs.

Consider Your Child’s Age

Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes that parents make when designing their parenting plan is not taking their child’s age, activities, or personality into account – yet these factors can greatly influence their specific needs. For example, it might make sense for an infant who has spent most of their life with a stay-at-home parent to have more parenting time with that individual. However, child mental health professionals typically recommend more frequent transitions for extremely young children, as they need a great deal of time with both parents to ensure proper bonding. Depending on your situation, a two day stay with one parent, a two day stay with the other parent, and three days back with the first may be appropriate until the child is a bit older. At that point, the family may want to consider going to a 2-2-5 parenting arrangement.

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divorcing parent, DuPage County divorce attorney, parenting plan, parenting agreement, allocation of parental responsibilitiesAs a divorcing parent, the pressures you face are amplified, as your responsibilities are nearly doubled due to the transitional needs of the entire family. Not only do you need to make living and financial arrangements for yourself while also looking after your physical and emotional health, you must make arrangements for any children you share with your spouse, too. A solid parenting agreement is essential when entering post-divorce life, as it will provide the legal blueprint for how you will continue to raise your child once you are separated.

Getting Organized

Although the pressure may be overwhelming as you address the allocation of parental responsibilities (child custody) and parenting time (visitation), there are a few ways to to help streamline the parenting plan process and ensure you start off on the right foot. Here are some key steps to drafting an effective parenting plan:

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