In Illinois and many other states, divorcing spouses must make a parenting plan that outlines parental responsibilities once the divorce is finalized. The plan covers everything from visitation times to guidelines for healthcare and religious upbringing. Read on to learn why it’s important to follow a parenting order in Illinois.
First and foremost, a parenting plan is a rulebook you and your former spouse agree to follow. Failing to do so can have consequences, although the ramifications are tailored to the situation. For example, a minor scheduling change will not cause nearly the problem that consistently failing to fulfill your obligations will.
When one parent fails to uphold their end of the agreement, a few things can happen, ending with legal action.
The first step is to attempt mediation. Talking things through is always preferable than going to court—even if you win the legal battle, it can take a heavy toll on you emotionally and mentally. Consider finding a mediator to smooth out the situation if your former spouse has trouble maintaining calm discussions.
Unfortunately, talking won’t always work. If you and your spouse can’t come to an agreement for whatever reason, your next move should be to contact an Illinois child custody attorney. They can help guide you through the court system. They’ll instruct you to file a petition which will request legal enforcement of your parenting plan. You’ll need:
Now that you know why it’s important to follow a parenting order in Illinois, reach out to your former spouse and attempt to work with them through mediation before taking things to court. A judge may be necessary to get the results you want, but it’s a trying process and should only be used as a last resort.