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chicago child custody lawyerWhen parents of minor children get divorced in Illinois, they need to submit something called a “parenting plan” to a judge for approval. In the best-case scenario, parents will have already created a parenting plan together and can simply submit it to the court as part of an uncontested divorce. When this is not possible, however, parents can still work together using the help of a mediator or collaborative divorce team to negotiate a parenting plan. If absolutely necessary, a judge can intervene and make custody decisions on behalf of a couple who cannot negotiate the terms of their parenting plan themselves. However you eventually get to your final parenting plan, it is important to understand what it is and what it needs to address. 

What is a Parenting Plan? 

Parenting plans, otherwise known as child custody agreements, are legally binding agreements that detail exactly how a divorced couple will manage their underage children. Once a parenting plan has been approved by a judge and entered as part of a divorce decree or divorce order modification, parents must follow the parenting plan or face legal consequences. 

A parenting plan will address the two major parts of child custody in Illinois: The allocation of parental responsibilities, which is the right to make important decisions on behalf of a child, and parenting time, which is the right to spend time with a child.

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