Discuss Your Parenting Plan Before Divorce

parenting plan, Aurora family law attorneyWe have all heard about the couples who stay in bad marriages out of a sense of obligation to offer a two-parent situation for their children. While sacrificing for the sake of your children may sound admirable, the reality is that a contentious marriage is often worse for children than divorce. Many thousands of divorced parents are able to continue parenting together long after their marriages ended by committing to cooperation and keeping the child’s best interest as the top priority.

Cooperative parenting after divorce begins with developing a plan that addresses the rights and responsibilities of each parent. It is important, however, to start planning before you and your spouse even file your petition for divorce. Once you realize that you are heading for divorce, you should begin—at least informally—discussing the arrangements for the future.

Primary Residential Responsibilities

Among the first topics for discussion regarding your parenting plan should be which of you will provide the primary home for your child. This is important for school registration, and other concerns that require a home address or custodial permissions. Parenting time is very rarely split exactly 50/50, and the parent with primary residential responsibilities will also have a majority of the parenting time with the child. This means that the other parent will typically be responsible for paying child support.

Decision-Making and Dispute Resolution

Before you get divorced, you and your spouse should also talk about how important decisions for your child will be made. Will you each be responsible for specific areas? For example, Mom could be in charge of school-related decisions, while Dad takes care of medical concerns. Alternatively, you could agree to make all important decisions together. If you choose this route, however, you will also need to address how you will resolve the differences that are sure to arise eventually.

Commit to Your Child

Regardless of what you decide to include in your parenting plan, the details can always be changed later. What should not change is your dedication to meeting your child’s needs. If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse can agree that your child is most important, you will almost certainly be able to reach an agreement on your parenting plan.

If you have questions regarding parental responsibilities and the law in Illinois, contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney. We can help you find the answers you need and will work with you in developing a parenting plan that serves your child’s best interests. Call [[phone]] to schedule a confidential consultation at the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., today.




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