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Naperville, IL 60564

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How to Work Out a Parenting Schedule


Children’s issues are front and center in any divorce. In fact, you’ll have a parenting schedule and child support in place well before your final court date. But, how does a couple decide how to share time with the children?

In most cases, it’s a collaborative effort. While there is no longer custody in Illinois, the children are likely to live with one parent – often referred to as the residential parent – and enjoy visitation with the other parent. As such, it’s important to coordinate a schedule with your soon-to-be former spouse to ensure your children have a schedule and stability.

But, how is it done?

Step 1: Meet With Your Naperville Divorce Lawyer

A divorce lawyer plays a key role in facilitating negotiations for parenting time. Both parents often want equal time and as such, it’s important that you communicate what you want and where you’re willing to compromise.

Remember, the court will only apportion parenting time unevenly if there is a compelling reason to do so. Compelling reasons can include issues like abuse or a situation where a parent has limited interaction with his or her children.

Step 2: Negotiate 

Parties will rarely agree on a parenting time schedule upon first drafting. Typically, your attorney and your spouse’s attorney will decide who will draft a proposed parenting schedule and you’ll then negotiate based on that initial proposal.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to agree to a schedule you’re uncomfortable with. Rather, it allows you to make concessions to move your case along and provide stability for your children while showing that you’re cooperative – and not just trying to further litigation – in your divorce.

Step 3: Come to an Agreement or Litigate 

Most spouses are able to come to an agreement on the parenting schedule. That being said, most parenting schedules will award the non-residential parents two afternoons/nights per week and alternating weekends with the children.

As you can imagine, no two parenting schedules are alike. As such, it’s important to remember that yours will differ depending on factors like your childrens’ ages and preferences, your work schedule, your former spouse’s work schedule, and a number of other unique factors. The court cares only about what is in the best interests of the child. If you’re willing to concede, you’ll often be able to work out an agreement on parenting time without having to litigate (or waste money).

Don’t Make a Parenting Schedule More Complicated Than it Has to Be

Parenting schedules may seem complicated, but Naperville divorce lawyers in DuPage, Kendall, Kane, and Will Counties – like Larry Surinak – are able to easily negotiate and settle on your behalf.

Contact our office today at 630-470-9990 to take advantage of your free, 30-minute consultation. If you prefer, you may also request an appointment using our simple online form. We look forward to speaking with you!

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.