The divorce process is changing in Illinois. The state wants you and your child’s other parent to work together, especially when it comes to making decisions about parenting. That is why the court refers to custody and visitation as parenting time. The idea is to allow the continuation of the family unit for the benefit of the children even though you and your partner are no longer together.
When it comes to parenting plans, equal is best, but that is not always possible. In any case, you want to try to create a plan that will allow your children to have a quality relationship with both of you. The easiest way to create such a plan is through a collaborative process where you and your spouse work together to negotiate the aspects of the parenting plan.
Think about the children
Parents Magazine suggests that as you work together to decide with whom the children will spend time that you keep in mind what is best for your children. They need to come first. You may be thinking about how challenging it will feel to make dinner after a long day at work, help with homework and go through the bedtime routine. That may lead you to decide you would rather the children stay with the other parent during the week. However, think about how the children will feel if they do not get to see you for a week at a time.
Think about the other parent
You also need to think about the other parent. In the example scenario, it is not likely that the other parent would give up every weekend with the children. So, giving up the weekdays would leave you with even less time to see them. That is not good for anyone. Instead, you and the other parent must compromise and focus on the children.
This requires being flexible and learning how to work together. There is no room for selfishness when it comes to creating a parenting plan. In the end, coming together collaboratively will be beneficial for everyone in the family.