Many times, a Peoria couple will decide to negotiate an allocation of parental responsibilities, which will include child custody and parenting time, before going to court. Once they do so, they will need to file their parenting agreement with the court for approval.
An Illinois court will usually approve an agreement so long as it appears to be voluntary and that, when negotiating it, the couple put the best interests of their children first. Sometimes, negotiations about a parenting plan can be so informal that the couple works out their issues themselves. However, in most cases, the parties will use attorneys to help them with their negotiations.
Sometimes, the negotiation will be more formal, such as in the case of collaborative law or family law mediation. Finally, Illinois parents should remember that, even in the final stages of litigation, negotiations will usually be allowed. One important aspect of coming to a parenting agreement is that each parent needs to remember to include, in clear detail, how the couple plans to handle all major parenting issues. Of course, these can vary from case to case.
However, most parenting agreements should address with whom the child will live primarily, when each parent will have the child and how the couple will handle major decisions about things like healthcare, religion and education. It is also a good idea for an agreement to address special occasions, like holidays, family celebrations and vacations. Finally, a good agreement will set out ground rules should the parents disagree down the road.
Peoria parents can resolve the allocation of parental responsibilities between them through an agreement, but they will likely want the advice of an experienced family law attorney when doing so. This can help ensure that parents are well informed of their options, and that they take the steps that are best for his or her situation.