After a divorce has split you from your ex-spouse, you still must consider your child’s need to spend time with both parents. A parenting plan is a civil and official way to outline each individual’s rights and responsibilities to the child.
An Illinois parenting plan typically includes details on which parent the child lives with, individual parenting time and transportation. There are a few circumstances that could arise to warrant a change in your parenting plan.
1. There is a change in financial circumstances
If one parent loses their job or otherwise falls on hard financial times, this could severely affect their ability to care for the child. An inability to fulfill parental obligations is a valid reason to seek an official modification to the parenting plan.
2. One parent is moving far away
A professional or personal opportunity may spur one parent to move significantly far away from the other. This will obviously change the amount of time they can spend with the child and their ability to provide transportation to the other parent.
3. Your child is ready to voice an opinion
While a parenting plan is usually based upon decisions made by the parents and by the court for the child’s best interests, the child might form an opinion on which parent they prefer to live with as they grow older. It is worth taking this preference into consideration when deciding if it is best to modify the parenting plan.
You and your co-parent may have an easy time agreeing on parenting plan changes if they are beneficial for your child. Be aware, though, that a legal professional should review any changes before they are officially submitted to the court.