Many parents in Illinois are most concerned with how they will maintain and enhance their relationship with their children after a divorce. Just because their romantic relationship is ending does not mean that their bond with their children is any less precious or important. Indeed, handling custody and parenting matters between a divorcing couple can often be one of the most contentious and challenging issues that come with the end of a marriage.

A parenting plan can be an option in wherein divorcing spouses work together to establish mutual guidelines for their co-parenting relationship. Individuals can work together and with their family law attorneys to develop a plan that covers how decisions will be made about the children, an educational vision for their future, plans for medical treatment as well as the custody and residential schedule for the kids. The parenting plan can be individually tailored to meet the unique needs of the family drawing up the plan, and both parties can use the process as a way of establishing expectations.

Both parents can work together to write the agreement, or a lawyer can create an original draft. However, it is important that both parties consent to the agreement and sign it in order to give it full weight. In some cases, if people are unable to reach an agreement on their own, their attorneys could negotiate provisions of the parenting plan with direction from their clients. It is possible to include a parenting plan in a court order that enables it to be legally enforced.

Individuals who are dealing with child custody issues and other concerns as they go through a divorce can consult with a family law attorney in order to determine their next steps. A parenting plan can be one important option to help divorcing spouses reach a common agreement on important co-parenting decisions for the future of their children.