As parents facing divorce, you and your soon-to-be-ex undoubtedly place the welfare of your child at the top of your list of concerns.
To align with your overall parenting plan, you should create a parenting time schedule based on the best interests of your child.
Two areas of responsibility
In the state of Illinois, there are two main areas of parental responsibility. Legal custody addresses important decisions such as which parent has the right to make education, religious and medical decisions for the child. Physical custody is about which parent the child will live with primarily. Parenting time refers to the amount of time each parent will spend with the child.
The 3-4 schedule
Your parenting plan must include a parenting time schedule. The most common schedule starts with a 4-3 custody rotation whereby you and the other parent will share 60/40 parenting time with your child. In other words, one parent will have physical custody four days a week and the other will have custody three days a week. This schedule allows the child to spend time with both of you frequently, which is especially important for young children who rely on the love and support of both parents. If the two households are fairly close to each other, the 4-3 schedule makes for an easy transition since there are only two time exchanges each week. However, there are also other schedule options if the 4-3 does not work well for your family.
A binding agreement
Keep in mind that your parenting plan with the included parenting schedule is a legally binding document. It requires the approval of a judge, even if both parents agree to the plan in its entirety.