In many cases, both parents want to be involved with their children after a divorce. By being prepared, parents in Illinois and throughout the country may be able to gain maximum rights to their children even after their marriages end. Parents should be able to articulate the reasons behind any custody or visitation proposal that they submit to their former spouse. This may increase the odds that they get what they want.
Furthermore, any proposal should take the best interests of the child into consideration. Parents should make an effort to create a parenting plan that emphasizes good communication for the benefit of the child. Good communication may be helpful if something happens at school or if the child has a medical issue. It may also make it easier to determine who spends a birthday, holiday or other special occasion with that child.
Parenting plans should address the realities of life as they exist now while being flexible enough to adapt as things change. For instance, the plan should address what may happen if either party gets remarried or how to account for the changing needs of the child as he or she gets older. Taking these steps may allow parents to focus on making memories with their children as opposed to raising a child in an environment of fear and stress.
In a child custody case, the best interests of the child are generally the top priority when a court determines the scope of custody and visitation rights. This means that both parents may be entitled to spend time with their child regardless of how the other parent may feel. Generally, this is true assuming that there is no evidence of abuse or any other threat to the child's safety.