3652 Hector Lane
Naperville, IL 60564

(630) 470-9990
Contact us, today!

What’s in a Parenting Plan?


If you have minor children, you’re going to have a parenting plan as part of your divorce. However, not all parents understand what a parenting plan is going into their divorce. And, more importantly, not all parents understand what to expect as parenting plans are drafted, finalized, and implemented.

In this article, we explore the basics of all parenting plans, and what you can expect to find in them.

What’s in a Parenting Plan?

A parenting plan is a legal document that will be finalized and implemented before your divorce is over. It contains everything you need to know to parent your children with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, including major life decisions, weekly parenting time, and more.

Illinois law requires that every parenting plan have a number of required components. These components include:

  1. Decision-making power, specifically whether one parent has decision-making power or if the parents share said power equally;
  2. Parenting time distribution, meaning where the child will live and how time will be spent with the other parent;
  3. A mediation provision, so parents can attend mediation if they disagree about an issue;
  4. Contact information for both parents, so they’re able to get in touch with one another if necessary;
  5. A right of first refusal provision, which allows a parent to take care of the child if the other parent is unable to during his or her parenting time

What Role Does the Court Play in a Parenting Plan? 

The court may play a significant role in your parenting plan drafting and finalization, or little role at all other than approving the terms for entry. As is the case in any divorce, the courts generally prefer to allow parents to negotiate on the terms of their parenting agreement free from the court’s interference.

Of course, your judge may refuse to enter the parenting plan at any time if he or she has reason to believe that the plan is not in the best interests of the child. This may occur even if both parents have signed the plan and are willing to follow it. The court may also take several factors into account that may affect how parenting time works or how other decisions are made. Your Naperville divorce lawyer can help you better understand the implications of parenting plans and how the court may affect your own.

Learn More About Parenting Plans and How Yours Will Work

Parenting plans are essential to any Illinois divorce. If you’re concerned about parenting time, holidays, decision-making power, or other components of your future plan, Larry can help. He has over 36 years of experience in divorce law and will ensure you receive a parenting arrangement that is fair and in the best interests of your children.

Contact Larry today at 630-470-9990 to take advantage of your free consultation. Or, if you prefer, fill in our simple online form and we will contact you within 24 hours to schedule an in-office consultation. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you better understand the children’s’ issues in your case.

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.

Schedule a Free Consultation

If you need advice, help, want your questions answered or need representation, complete the form below and click the Submit button to request a free 30 minute confidential consultation.

A member of our firm will review your information and contact you within 48 hours to schedule in your consult.

If your request is urgent or time critical, please call our office on (630) 470-9990

Contact Us

  • We will not contact you by email unless you specify this as your preference.
  • Please describe your situation or the legal services you're interested in.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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.