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The Basics of Illinois Parenting Time

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DuPage County, IL visitatin lawyerEvery parent’s situation is different and as such it can be difficult to create a perfect parenting time schedule. Oftentimes a 50/50 split is not the best solution and, in cases where parents cannot agree or there are questions of parental fitness, it may be up to the court to determine the best interest of the children and the appropriate parenting time schedule. Illinois prefers that each child has two involved parents in their life so long as it does not affect the mental, physical, emotional, or moral well-being of the child. For a deeper understanding of how parenting time is allocated, speak with an experienced attorney.

Parenting Time As Defined By Illinois Law

Formerly known as visitation or physical custody, parenting time involves how much time a parent can spend with their child. It covers the rights and responsibilities each parent has to their children after a divorce. Parenting time will determine where a child’s permanent residence is located, how often that child will spend with each parent, the responsibilities of each parent when the child is with them, and the means of transportation between visits.

Determining Parenting Time

Cooperative parents can come together during the divorce process and draft an agreeable parenting plan that will be submitted to the court. A judge will look over the parenting plan, determine if it is in a child’s best interest, and either approve or deny it. When parents cannot agree or a parenting plan is not approved, the court must allocate parenting time. A mutually agreed upon parenting plan is always preferable in determining the parenting time allocation. However, when it cannot occur, a court will consider several factors before coming to a decision.


Co-parenting in the Digital Age does have its advantages. It is easier than ever to keep kids and parents in touch and apps designed just for co-parents can help them to improve communication, coordinate schedules and enhance their ability to co-parent effectively.

If you’re having issues co-parenting in the ways that you had hoped to when you first split from your child’s other parent, know that using various apps could genuinely help to put you back on track.

What can apps help co-parents to accomplish?

Here are just a few of the ways that apps can assist you in your co-parenting situation:


Is birdnesting custody a good idea?

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When a marriage or relationship ends in divorce, sometimes the thought of two homes and empty arguments over who gets which days with the kids can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, there is an alternative: birdnesting.

In this arrangement, children stay put in the family home while one parent rotates out to accommodate the time between both parents. Instead of upheaval and resentment, this situation can create a respite for all parties involved.

Benefits and drawbacks of birdnesting

The idea behind birdnesting is to provide stability for the children by allowing them to remain in the family home and maintain their routine. This way, the children don't have to adjust to a new environment or be uprooted from their familiar surroundings. It also allows them to spend time with both parents in one place without switching between households.


Every fit parent has the right to spend time with their child regardless of the living arrangements or the nature of the relationship with their co-parent. Unfortunately, however, it is not uncommon for a parent to interfere with a court-approved custody and visitation plan.

If your co-parent is stopping you from seeing your child, you need to take specific steps to exercise your rights. Here is what you need to know if your co-parent is interfering with the custody order.

Court orders are binding

Your co-parent might have their own reasons for attempting to interfere with an existing custody order. Perhaps, you are not returning the child in time or they do not approve of your current love life. However, they simply cannot take the law into their own hands. Once a judge approves and signs the custody order, both parties must abide by it if and until it has been formally modified. Any attempt to sabotage it amounts to a violation. And the consequences of a violation can be far-reaching, regardless of a parent’s motivation.


Going through a divorce with kids involved can make issues more complicated. This is because you need to tell them about this significant change and watch them go through different emotions. Thus, you should approach the subject carefully to avoid negative effects.

However, besides being strategic in conveying your message, you need to know the right time to do so. Here is when to consider having a divorce conversation with your kids.

Not too soon or late

Once you and your spouse have decided to divorce, it will help to wait a bit longer before informing the kids, perhaps after you have figured out major issues like when the separation will occur or which parent will move out. Telling them months before separation may make things odd in the house, and your kids may overthink things.

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