Among all of the decisions made during a divorce, issues pertaining to children are some of the most important elements that must be settled. These issues can include parenting time, decision-making responsibilities, and other child-centered concerns. All of these things will be covered in a parenting plan, which Illinois requires as a part of your divorce settlement if you have children. Parenting plans are written agreements that outline all legal issues, from which parent has a child and when to how decision-making responsibilities will be shared or divided. Parenting plans can be difficult to negotiate, but they can save a lot of headache in the future.

Elements of a Parenting Plan

Before you go before a judge to determine a parenting plan, Illinois courts allow you and your spouse to come up with your own agreement. If you cannot come up with your own parenting plan, you will be ordered to attend mediation to help you formulate a plan. If you still cannot come to an agreement, you will have to attend a court hearing so a judge can make decisions pertaining to your parenting plan.

You can include whatever you would like in your parenting plan, but there are certain things that are required to be included. At the very minimum, you must include:

  • How significant decision-making responsibilities will be allocated between parents
  • Information about the child’s living arrangements, such as a parenting time schedule describing when the child will be at each parent’s house
  • How you will handle changes when one parent wants to modify the parenting plan
  • Each parent’s access to the child’s records, including medical, dental, psychological, child care, school, and extracurricular records
  • The child’s residential address (for school registration purposes only)
  • Each parent’s address, place of employment, and employment address and phone number
  • Provisions which require each parent to notify the other of emergencies, health care concerns, travel plans, and other significant child-centered issues
  • Transportation arrangements
  • Communication between a child and a parent when the child is in the care of the other parent
  • Duke Lag Values Still Aside Tax Provisions for the right of first refusal when a parent is unavailable to care for the child during their scheduled parenting time
  • Any other provision that addresses the child’s best interests

Get Help From a Rolling Meadows Parenting Plan Lawyer

If you are going through a divorce, you know how difficult it can be to make sure you have all of your ducks in a row. At the Cosley Law Office, we understand how emotional and stressful divorce can be. Our experienced and understanding Arlington Heights divorce attorneys can help you and your spouse come to an agreement about your parenting plan. Get in touch with our office today to get started drafting a parenting plan that works for your whole family. Call our office at 847-253-3100 to schedule a free consultation.


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For many people, December means delicious food, spending time with family, exchanging presents, and enjoying the season. Unfortunately, for many families, the holiday season also means a time of stress and emotional tug-of-war. When parents are divorced, the holiday season can be difficult, because not only must they decide when they each will have the children, but they will also need to juggle all of the events that take place during the holidays, such as plays, concerts, recitals, holiday parties, and gift exchanges.

Here are a few ways that divorced parents can have a joyful and happy holiday season:

Plan Well in Advance

Like most things in your co-parenting relationship, a successful holiday season will largely depend on how you plan for it. Ideally, both you and your ex will be able to attend all of your children’s events. If you cannot stand to be in the same room as each other, make a plan to pick and choose which events you will be attending and which events you will sit out.

Do Not Make the Holidays a Competition

Sometimes, parents try to “out-gift” each other during the holiday season. This can send a very bad message to your children that their love needs to be bought or that toys equal worth. Even though you may feel guilty for putting your child through a divorce, you do not need to shower your child with tons of material items, and you do not need to get into a gifting war with your ex. The best present you can give your child is your love and attention.

Make New Traditions but Keep Some of the Old

For many people, the holiday season is a time for special traditions. Many of these traditions involve the whole family, but now that you are divorced, the whole family may not be able to spend the holidays together. You do not have to get rid of old traditions completely, but you should try to introduce some new traditions to your children as well. Try volunteering at a soup kitchen or animal shelter to spread the joy of giving with your children. You could also think of new ideas for activities around the home, such as reading a different book each night or watching a new movie.

Contact an Arlington Heights, IL Divorce Lawyer

Holidays can be stressful for anyone, but they can put even more stress on a separated family. Your successful post-divorce holiday all starts with a sound parenting plan and plenty of pre-thought. At the Cosley Law Office, we understand how emotional the first holiday season after your divorce can be. Our Rolling Meadows divorce attorney can help you figure out all of your child custody issues, in addition to helping you settle the legal issues you must address during your divorce. Call our office today at 847-253-3100 to set up a free consultation.


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It is no secret that divorce can be difficult on everyone involved. Some people feel like their divorce makes them a failure, and children of divorcing parents may worry that the divorce is their fault. However, while a divorce is most often seen as a negative event, it can be one of the most positive things you can do for yourself and your family. Even though it may not feel like it, especially right after your divorce is finalized, a divorce can be a good thing. Here are four ways your divorce can benefit you and your family:

1. You Can Finally Relax

Duke Tax Lag Aside Still Values After you get a divorce, it can feel like a massive weight has been lifted off of your shoulders. You will no longer need to feel like you have to tiptoe around the house, hoping to avoid your combative spouse. You no longer have to worry about every single one of your decisions being met with contradiction and arguments. You can finally sit back, relax, and have some time for yourself.

2. You Can Do Some Self-Reflection

The aftermath of a divorce is a great time to rediscover who you truly are. Often, people who have been married–especially if they were married for a long time–find that they no longer do things that they used to enjoy. You can take the time after your divorce to look within yourself and figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life and what kind of life you want to live.

3. You Have Greater Control Over Your Money

Divorce also comes with a few financial perks, even though it may not seem like it. After a divorce, you no longer have to worry about explaining charges on your credit card to your spouse. You can decide your own budget and how you want to spend your money. You do not have to save up for a vacation to Hawaii when you really want to spend a week in Aspen. You have the freedom to make your own decisions now.

4. You Can Practice Being a Better Parent

Divorce allows you to quit pouring all of your time and energy into making your marriage work when it was so clearly broken beyond repair. You can now devote that time and energy into being a fantastic parent to your children. You no longer have to be stressed and irritable all of the time, and you can finally be the happy and involved parent you have always wanted to be.

A Skilled Arlington Heights, IL Divorce Attorney Can Help

The thought of a divorce is a daunting idea to many people, because they think that they–along with their children–will be worse off after they are divorced. While this is a legitimate fear, it does not have to be the case. In fact, a divorce can be the best option for both you and your children. A compassionate Rolling Meadows divorce lawyer can help you understand your legal options and requirements throughout the divorce process, allowing you to reach a positive resolution and move on with your life. Contact Cosley Law Office today at 847-253-3100 to set up a free consultation and learn how we can help.


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