Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C.

Joliet Office

815-666-1285

Plainfield Office

815-733-5350

Joliet Parenting Time Lawyer

Parenting Time

Family Law Attorney Helping Parents Settle Child Visitation Issues in Will County and Grundy County

Illinois divorce and parenting laws have changed significantly in the past few years. The old laws defining child custody and visitation, which tended to pit parents against one another in a win-lose battle, have been set aside in favor of a more modern approach. The new law divides parental responsibilities into significant decision-making responsibilities and parenting time. This approach allows the allocation of parental responsibilities according to each family's unique situation.

At the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C., we understand that parenting time decisions can be fraught with emotion. You probably have conflicting feelings, wanting more time with your children but also recognizing that children deserve a close and continuing relationship with both parents. You may even have drastic disagreements with your spouse over what is in the best interest of the children.

Whatever your situation, we will help you understand what Illinois law requires and help you create a viable parenting plan that serves the best interests of your children. We have over 60 years of combined experience in resolving parenting disputes through a variety of methods including negotiation, mediation, the use of a guardian ad litem to represent the children, the employment of a child psychologist to make recommendations regarding the children's best interests, court intervention, and litigation.

Illinois Requires a Parenting Plan

Illinois law encourages divorcing parents to present a mutually agreed on parenting plan to the court for approval. Alternatively, each parent must present a separate plan for the court's consideration. The court will then conduct a hearing to determine a plan that maximizes the child's relationship and access to both parents.

The parenting plan must address two main areas of parental responsibility: the allocation of parenting time and the allocation of significant decision-making responsibilities.

Allocation of Parenting Time

This part of the parenting plan defines the child's living arrangements, including:

Primary or shared physical care: When the child spends at least 40% of the year (at least 146 nights) with each parent, this is termed shared physical care. If one parent has the child for more than 60% of the year (220 nights or more), that parent is considered to have primary physical care. This distinction affects the calculation of child support but does not otherwise affect either parent's rights and responsibilities.

Parenting time schedule: This can take the form of an annual calendar marked with days the child will reside with each parent and the times one parent will transfer the children to the other parent's care. You can also express it as a formula, such as "Parent A will have physical care of the children for one weekend per month, on these specific holidays, and two weeks during summer vacation."

Logistical provisions: Include enough detail in your parenting plan to avoid future conflicts and to ensure legal enforceability. For example, include provisions regarding transportation between the parents' residences and methods of communication with the other parent.

Modification and enforcement: The court will generally require you to stick to your parenting time plan unless you can show that the child or either parent has had a substantial change in the circumstances and that a modification of the plan is necessary to serve the child's best interests. You can, however, specify in your plan certain types of changes that can be made by mutual agreement of the parents. If your co-parent violates a parenting time order, you can petition the court for remedies such as makeup parenting time or reimbursement of expenses.

Parenting Time Lawyer Serving Morris and Yorkville

Contact the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. at 815-666-1285 for assistance in developing, modifying, or enforcing a parenting time plan. From our two convenient offices in Joliet and Plainfield, Illinois, we serve clients in Will County, Grundy County, Kendall County, Yorkville, Morris, and surrounding areas.

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