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  • Writer's pictureAngela Larimer

How to Create a Child-Focused Parenting Plan

Learn about creating a child-focused parenting plan. For help with any family law issues in Chicago, call Angela Larimer, rated top 5% of all Family Lawyers in the state of Illinois, at 773-370-0600.

When creating a parenting plan, the priority of parents should be ensuring the children’s basic needs are met, which include love, guidance, adequate medical care, a healthy diet, education, and enough rest. Below are the considerations that parents should make to help create a child-focused parenting plan. Parents who need help creating a child-focused parenting plan in Chicago can contact Angela Larimer by calling 773-370-0600.


When developing a parenting plan, parents should consider their children’s ages, abilities, personalities, and experiences. The parenting plan should be tailored to the best interests of children rather not to what is convenient for the parents.

Reliable Routine

Children tend to benefit the most when they have a stable routine. Parents need to ensure that children have a parenting time schedule that they can easily adjust to, which helps them cope better with the changes accompanying a divorce and helps maintain a healthy relationship with both parents. Consistency for children is one of the keys to raising successful and emotionally healthy children. Children should be given regular and consistent times with each parent for overnights, day-to-day care, activities, schoolwork, holidays, and vacations.

Access to Information About the Children’s Lives

Children are generally much better when both parents are involved in their lives. A parenting plan should therefore include arrangements about communication and what information is shared between the parents. It should ensure that both parents can access information about the children, for example, school and medical records.

Parents should have each other’s address and contact information, such as phone numbers or e-mail addresses. They should be able to inform each other about everything they can concerning their children’s lives. Parents should also keep each other informed about any significant changes or events in both their own lives and their children’s lives. The plan should also ensure the parents can reach the children on the other parent's time, so long as the communication is not interfering with the other parent's plans or privacy.

Allocation of Decision-Making Responsibilities

A parenting plan should clearly specify which decisions parents can make on their own and which ones they will make together regarding:

  • Schools

  • Dental and medical care

  • Child care

  • Emergency care

  • Religion

  • Extra-Curricular Activities

  • Jobs and driving in the case of older children

Accounting for Many Scenarios

According to research, high conflict parents can cause ancillary harm to the children. In order to avoid continuing conflict, a parenting plan should account for as many scenarios as possible. The plan should address how to deal with parental discrepancies with simple rules that both parents agree with and understand. Such a plan will provide a roadmap for dealing with issues that are not easy to resolve.

Parents can seek the help of a child custody attorney to help them work together to come up with such a parenting plan.

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