Illinois Parenting Agreement

As a family law attorney who has served countless divorcing parents in the Chicagoland area, Denise Erlich can help you and your spouse prepare a parenting plan that is tailored to your family’s needs and the best interests of your children. When parents can reach an agreement on the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time in Illinois, they are one step closer to obtaining an uncontested divorce.

Find out more about how Illinois family law attorney Denise Erlich can help you create your parenting plan.
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What Is the Allocation of Parental
Responsibilities and Parenting Time in Illinois?

When you file an uncontested divorce in Illinois and you have children, state law requires you to submit a Parenting Agreement to the Court. Commonly referred to as the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities and Parenting Plan or “Allocation Judgment,” the terminology was changed in 2016 to replace the terms “custody” and “visitation”. The Parenting Agreement contains two parts:

A specific schedule
for parenting time
with the children.
The assignment of decision-making responsibilities.

Creating a Parenting Time Schedule

Illinois favors shared parenting time, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the time spent with the children is equally split. To help parents create a parenting time plan that meets their needs and the best interests of their children, family law attorneys in Illinois often recommend that couples review several options and come up with their own variation.

Cartoon Family in front of heart

When creating a parenting time schedule, it’s important to consider the physical, emotional, and social needs of the children, as well as:

The parenting time schedule should include a plan for day-to-day living, as well as outlining parenting time on holidays and during vacation periods.

Taking a realistic approach and evaluating what will work best for the whole family can help prevent emotionally charged conflicts when determining how and when the children will spend time with each parent.

Allocating Decision-Making Responsibilities

Parents generally make minor decisions about day-to-day issues and emergency situations when the children are spending time with them. The courts require, however, that significant decision-making responsibilities be assigned to one or both parents.

In Illinois, the courts require that four significant areas of the children’s lives are addressed when allocating decision-making responsibilities:

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FAQs About Parenting Plans in Illinois

In Illinois, changes to the parenting time schedule that are in the best interests of the children can be made at any time. The allocation of decision-making responsibilities, however, cannot be modified for two years unless the child’s mental, physical, moral, or emotional health and/or development is significantly endangered.

If you and your spouse cannot agree to a parenting plan when filing an uncontested divorce, your divorce will become contested and you will be required to attend mediation to try to settle your disputes. If you are unable to reach an agreement at mediation, a lengthy and expensive court battle will likely result because the court will likely appoint a Guardian Ad Litem.

In Illinois, the right of first refusal means that if the parent with parenting time is unable to be present and intends to leave the minor child with a third party for a significant period of time, he or she must first offer the other parent the opportunity to provide care for the child.