Parenting Plans

As both parents start new lives without each other, they will continue to share their children and the responsibility for raising them. Joint parenting following a divorce is often challenging, presenting an entirely new approach for both parents. This can be difficult to adjust to, not only as the former spouses adjust to parenting alone but also as they learn to coordinate schedules, after-school programming and other needs of the children.

Buffalo Grove Parental Rights Lawyer

At Buffalo Grove Law Offices, we guide families through the negotiations and agreements that will frame this transition. We are committed to helping them find solutions and arrangements that meet the needs of the children and allow both parents adequate time and a healthy relationship with the children.

There is often apprehension on both sides during these negotiations. A mother of young children may not be sure that the father is prepared to single-handedly care for their many needs. A father may feel that the mother is trying to limit his time with the children. In carefully discussing and negotiating a working parenting plan, both parents receive the opportunity to help decide on the exact requirements of the plan, each having equal say in how the plan will proceed.

All considerations will be included in the negotiations, including the ages of the children, needs and degrees of care, extra-curricular involvement and additional parenting goals.

Many times for older children, after-school activities play a huge role in the plan. We customize our approach to the family, determining a plan that works best with the specific needs and dynamics of the parents and children involved. The needs of the children are always the primary objective, and we are committed to reaching solutions that best serve those children and their upbringing.

Visitation And Parenting Plans

One of the parties will typically have residential custody, even if the parties share Joint Custody (so that they have a Joint Parenting Plan). The party who does not have residential custody will be entitled to visitation on some scheduled basis with the child(ren). The visitation may change over time, as the child grows up. For example, if the child is a new-born when the divorce takes place, the visitation with the parent who is not the residential parent, may be quite less time than when the child is starting to go to pre-school.

Visitation schedules that are not specific are frowned on and often rejected by the Judge. The Parenting Plan needs to provide when a parent will have visitation. It is also a good idea to provide in the Plan for makeup visitation time, and how to resolve issues regarding visitation before it goes to mediation or court.

The parent who is not the residential parent is entitled to visitation unless the court finds, after a hearing, that visitation would endanger seriously the child’s physical, mental, moral or emotional health.

Visitation Abuse

Visitation abuse occurs when a party has willfully and without justification: 1) denied another party visitation as set forth by the court; or 2) exercised his or her visitation rights in a manner that is harmful to the child or child’s custodian. An action for Visitation Abuse may be started by filing a petition setting for:

  • the Petitioner’s name, residence of mailing address,

  • the Respondent’s name, place of employment, and residence or mailing address,

  • the nature of the visitation abuse, giving dates and other relevant information,

  • a reasonable attempt was made to resolve the dispute, and

  • the relief that you seek.

After hearing all of the evidence, the court may order one or more of the following:

  • modification of the visitation order to specifically outline periods of visitation or restrict visitation as provided by law,

  • supervised visitation with a third party or public agency,

  • makeup visitation of the same time period, such as weekend for weekend, holiday for holiday,

  • counseling or mediation, except in cases where there is evidence of domestic violence occurring between the parties,

  • other appropriate relief that is deemed equitable.


The parties should come to an agreement on a transportation plan for getting the children to and from visitation, to sports and extracurricular activities, medical appointments, etc. Typically, the party who is with the children at the time of the sports or extracurricular activity, or medical appointment, is the one who transports (drives) the children to that function. The usual transportation issue is who should pick up, and who should drop off, the child or children. Sometimes the residential parent feels that the other parent should do all the driving for visitation. However, it is usual that the parties share the driving. For example, one party picks the children up for visitation and the other party picks the children up to take them back home. It can be handled in a manner that best suits the parties and the child(ren).

If the party with residential custody moves further away, it may mean that the residential parent will be doing more of the driving for transportation of the child(ren).

Contact An Arlington Heights Parenting Plan Lawyer

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss the challenges of custody schedules and joint parenting and the solutions available, please contact an attorney at our Illinois firm today at (847) 772-8579.


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