When it comes to developing a parenting time and responsibilities plan, you must prepare to sit down and talk with the other parent of your children. Together, you will need to arrange everything from important occasions to your children’s mundane day-to-day needs. You will have to make sacrifices by not seeing your children every day or missing them on holidays. But it is best if you and your children’s other parent create a parenting plan together instead of leaving these crucial decisions up to a judge. If you need help acquiring parenting time and responsibilities during a custody battle, contact the Chicago family law attorneys of Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. at 630-961-0060.
When arranging parenting time, consider:
- Birthdays. Do not plan for only the obvious birthdays, like your children’s. Also plan for your birthday, the other parent’s, and any other important family birthdays. Your children will have friend’s birthday parties to attend. Figure out ahead of time how you and the other parent will handle friend’s birthdays, including who is responsible for purchasing gifts and driving to and from locations.
- Holidays. You and the other parent should take into account both religious and secular holidays, such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the Fourth of July. Not only do many holidays come with days off school, but you and the other parent may have strong opinions on where your children spend these days. It is important to establish traditions and patterns as soon as possible.
- The School Calendar. Schools will have additional days off for testing and teacher planning. You should have the school calendar ready when you sit down to discuss a parenting time plan. You and the other parent will need to determine who is responsible for the children or child care on these days. You should also consider snow days, sick days, or other potential impromptu days off.
- Vacations. You will want to take your children on vacation once in a while. Whether it is a local trip to Six Flags or further away like Disney World, you need to plan for this time in advance. Your children’s other parent will also want to take them on fun trips, so you need to be careful not to overlap or plan similar adventures. You may also need to discuss the best time to take these trips, such as whether you use spring break as your time to get away or the summer.
- Special Needs. If your children have any special needs, whether it is seeing a math tutor once a week, going to counseling or medical requirements, you and the other parent must be on the same page as to whose responsibility it will be to get the children to and from these obligations.
- Transportation. A common issue that arises during parenting time arrangements is transportation. You need to know who will take the children to school, extracurricular activities, special events, religious commitments, appointments, and between your homes. It is too obvious to say that the parent who currently has the parenting time will drive. Never assume how transportation will work – talk it through.
A Chicago Parenting Time Attorney Can Help
Creating a parenting time plan with your children’s other parent can be difficult and emotional. You may have to sit across the table from the person you are divorcing or a parent who has previously had little to do with your kids. You might not have a good or even amicable relationship with him or her. The DuPage County child custody lawyers of Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. understand how hard this will be for you, which is why we will represent your rights and handle your case with compassion. Call us today at 630-961-0060 to schedule a free consultation.