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Divorce Q&A: What’s a Parenting Plan?


Before January 1, 2016, children-related matters in divorce were referred to as custody and visitation. This meant that one parent would be considered the residential custodial parent (i.e. the parent the child or children lived with) and there would be a visitation schedule to ensure both parents spent an equitable amount of time with the children.

Now, the idea of custody and visitation are no longer. The revised Illinois Marriage and Dissolution Of Marriage Act provides for parenting time, which was formerly custody, and parental responsibility, which was formerly referred to as visitation.

As part of your divorce, you’ll file an Allocation of Parental Responsibility with the Court. In it, you’ll have all of the guidelines you need to parent with your former spouse and ensure your children are raised properly.

But, what is in the document? Below, we discuss this and more.

What is in a Parental Allocation of Responsibility Judgment?

There are several issues and potential points of disagreement addressed in a Parental Allocation of Responsibility Judgment. The idea is that in doing so, you can avoid conflict with your spouse after your divorce to provide a stable, enriching environment for your children.

Here are just some of the issues that will be addressed in your Judgment:

  • Where the children will live.
  • Whether decision-making privileges are sole or joint.
  • How parents will communicate and how children will communicate with both parents.
  • How parents will exchange information regarding their personal residence and work arrangements.
  • Access to the childrens’ records, including medical, dental, psychological, child care, and school records.
  • How parenting time will be divided both typically and on special holidays.
  • Transportation between residences to exchange children for parenting time.
  • Extracurricular activities and payment for said activities.
  • Travel arrangements.
  • Other miscellaneous matters deemed necessary on a case-by-case basis.

In most divorce cases, the Allocation of Parental Responsibility Judgment is drafted and entered by the Judge long before the divorce is complete. If your case is straightforward, however, you may have yours entered at the time of your final Court appearance when you are actually divorced.

Are You Confused About Parenting Arrangements After Divorce?

If so, the team at Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. can help! We have over 35 years of expertise in divorce and family law and can help you better understand the new IMDMA and what it means for your children as part of your Naperville divorce.

To take advantage of your free consultation, contact Larry at 630-470-9990 or request your 30-minute consultation online using our simple form. We look forward to speaking with you and explaining how allocation of parental responsibilities works along with other issues in your divorce!

Concentrated on Family Law

Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. is a law firm concentrating solely on family law and has served clients in DuPage, Will, Kane, and Kendall counties for over 35 years.

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About Attorney Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd.

Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. is a law firm concentrating solely on family law and has served clients in DuPage, Will, Kane, and Kendall counties for over 35 years.

We continue to work with clients in Naperville, Wheaton, Lisle, Oswego, Downers Grove, and the surrounding areas to provide one-on-one support and attention that will help you through this difficult time.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at any time. We look forward to offering our expertise and support to you throughout your case and after.