Divorcing spouses in Illinois may need to make a parenting schedule that plans when children will spend time with each parent. They might have to go to court if they are unable to agree on a schedule. However, the couple will have less of a say in the final decision.
Some parents may find it difficult to negotiate parenting time. They could doubt the other parent's ability to perform tasks ranging from homework help to getting the child to bed on time and more. A parent might even see the schedule as a win-or-lose weapon to be used against the other parent. However, this is never an appropriate way of viewing the parenting schedule. Its purpose is to give the child a chance to maintain a relationship with each parent after divorce.
The negotiation process may be easier if the parents consider the process through the child's eyes. They should arrange it around the child's school and activity schedule as well as any logistical limitations. Depending on the age of the child, this might be a family discussion. Additional considerations may be necessary for children with special needs.
If exes are struggling to agree on a schedule, they might want to try mediation. Mediation is focused on conflict resolution and may help parents avoid the more adversarial atmosphere of a courtroom. After mediation, parents could be in a better emotional position to move on to co-parenting together. Even if the case must go to court, however, parents can still work together afterward by following the judge's orders and focusing on the child's best interests.