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The Importance of Following a Parenting Plan

Posted on in Parenting

Lombard family law attorneysWhen you share parenting responsibilities for your child with your former partner, things are not always going to be easy. You will almost certainly experience disagreements with the other parent over a variety of concerns including the child’s activities, your relationship with the child, and your ability to properly exercise your parenting time. Regardless of the difficulties, however, it is very important for you to continue following any orders entered by the court so that you do not put your parental rights in jeopardy.

Components of a Parenting Plan

Following a divorce or breakup of unmarried parents, arrangements must be made for the couple’s child or children. To facilitate the process, the law requires the parents to submit a proposed plan regarding each parent’s responsibilities for the child. Each parent may submit a separate proposal or they may develop one together. A parenting plan must contain a number of other elements, but the most important considerations include the allocation of significant decision-making responsibilities and a parenting time schedule. Once a parenting plan has been approved by the court and entered as an order, both parents must abide by its terms.

Recent Examples

Your parenting plan is intended to provide your child with the security and stability that he or she needs in order to thrive. You cannot pick and choose which portions you wish to follow and which you will ignore. Over the last few months, appeals courts in Illinois have ruled on several cases that address the actions of parents who refused to follow a court-approved parenting plan.

In one case, the children’s mother was found to have overstepped her decision-making authority which she shared equally with the children’s father. She was attempting to legally change her children’s last name—a significant decision—without consulting the other parent. Both the trial court and the appeals court blocked the name change and instructed the mother to follow the parenting arrangement more carefully.

In a second case, a mother was determined to have willfully denied the father parenting time—an act considered visitation abuse by the court. The trial court determined that the mother purposefully made it difficult for the father to spend time with their son and ordered that the father be granted makeup time with his child.

We Advocate for Parents

The mothers in the examples listed above may be considered fortunate as their respective cases did not result in true sanctions or penalties. It is possible for a parent who repeatedly fails to comply with a parenting plan to have his or her parental rights limited or even terminated. If your child’s other parent is refusing to cooperate with the terms of your parenting plan, contact an experienced Lombard family law attorney today. Call 630-426-0169 and let us help you provide the best possible future for your child.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8300000&SeqEnd=10000000

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/Opinions/AppellateCourt/2016/2ndDistrict/2160594.pdf

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/Opinions/AppellateCourt/2016/1stDistrict/1152494.pdf


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