A comprehensive parenting time agreement not only includes a detailed schedule for the kids to spend time with each parent, but may also address issues such as screen time, dating parents, how to share expenses, or even how to resolve disputes in the future.
Parents in Illinois often share custody of children which provides relatively equal parenting time and parental responsibility. A parenting plan can detail which days of the week each parent will have with the kids and the transportation logistics to make it happen. Parenting plans also include details regarding where the kids will spend important holidays or events such as birthdays sometimes on an alternating basis each year.
Because parents often share school nights with kids, both should be concerned about kids finishing homework, limiting screen time, and getting to bed on time, which can all be detailed in a parenting agreement. It is important to strive for consistency when possible so children know what to expect.
As for dating, parents can agree in writing that they will not introduce dates to the children until a period of time has passed to protect the children from investing in what might be a fleeting relationship. Parents can also agree to not have dates overnight when the children are present until a certain amount of time has passed and the children are comfortable with the arrangement.
Children are often involved in various activities such as camp or sports which can add up to a significant expense not covered by standard child support. Parents will want to include how they will share these expenses, perhaps in unequal shares if one spouse has fewer means than the other, so one parent is not footing the entire bill for activities that their children need and enjoy.
Certainly parents will want to include how they will resolve disputes. The parenting plan can include an agreement not to discuss contentious issues in the children’s presence and perhaps outline a third party counselor option to iron out more difficult issues, the costs of which can be split.
It is important to approach a parenting plan thoughtfully and it helps to have an experienced family law attorney to advise you. Contact the Libertyville family law offices of Schlesinger & Strauss LLC for answers to your parenting time questions at 847-680-4970.