As a parent, there is nothing more important than protecting the well-being of your children during a divorce. You know that kids benefit when they are allowed to have a close relationship with both parents after the divorce is final, and one of the ways that Illinois couples may be able to provide this for their kids is through a negotiated custody plan.
Just as no two families are the same, no two parenting plans should be the same. Yours should match your unique needs and objectives. You have the option to work on a parenting or custody plan out of court, but it may be necessary to put your personal emotions aside when working through these important issues. Your ultimate goal in this process is the protection of your parental rights and the best interests of your children.
What should you include in your plan?
Your custody plan should reflect the individual and unique needs of your family. It is important to be thorough in your planning so that you can diminish the possibility of complications and disputes in the future. In order to negotiate and come to an agreement on your parenting plan, you may consider including the following in your plan:
- Visitation schedules and how often your children will move between homes
- If one parent will have primary physical custody of your child
- Which parent will retain legal custody of the child, which is the right to make decisions for the child
- Procedures for special occasions, such as holidays, summer vacations and other times
- Whether or not a child will have visitation with other members of the family, such as grandparents
You can even include as part of your parenting plan a way to handle and resolve disputes that may arise between you and the other parent. Your plan can include considerations and details that may be specific to your unique family.
Protecting your parental rights
It is possible to negotiate a custody and visitation order out-of-court without compromising your parental rights. If you and the other parent of your children are committed to working through this issue without the cost and stress of litigation, you may find it beneficial to seek experienced guidance.
You may find great benefit in having support as you work through the issues that will affect you and your family for years to come. Divorce is hard, but you can work to achieve a parenting plan that provides you and your kids with stability and security for years to come.