The Importance of Flexibility in Parental Allocation

May 22, 2023

When parents are creating a parenting plan, flexibility can be just as important as the specific schedule itself. In fact, Illinois courts recognize that life is unpredictable, and children’s needs change over time. A rigid plan might seem secure at first, but it can lead to frustration and conflict down the road. Flexibility in Parental Allocation Orders (formerly, custody orders) allows a plan to grow with a child and adapt. After the court enters your parenting plan, flexibility will become as important as cooperation.

The Importance of Flexibility in Parental Allocation Agreements


  • Children’s Changing Needs: What works for a toddler won’t necessarily work for a teenager. A flexible plan can adapt as your child grows and their interests evolve.
  • Life’s Unpredictability: Work schedules change, emergencies happen, and sometimes you just need a break. A flexible plan allows for adjustments without constant renegotiation.
  • Parental Evolution: As you and your co-parent grow and change, your parenting styles might shift too. Flexibility allows your plan to evolve along with you.

How Courts View Flexibility in Parental Allocation

Illinois courts consider flexibility to be a significant factor in determining the best interests of the child. They look for parents who are willing to:

  • Cooperate and Compromise: Show a willingness to work together and adjust schedules when necessary.
  • Put the Child First: Prioritize the child’s well-being over personal preferences.
  • Maintain Open Communication: Regularly discuss the child’s needs and make adjustments to the plan as needed.

The Benefits of a Flexible Parental Allocation Plan


  • Stronger Parent-Child Relationships: Flexibility allows for more quality time and strengthens bonds between children and both parents.
  • Reduced Conflict: Less rigidity means fewer disagreements and less stress for everyone.
  • Happier, Healthier Children: Studies show that children thrive when they have close, supportive relationships with both parents.

Remember: Flexibility isn’t about one parent always giving in to the other. It’s about a give-and-take approach, where both parents are willing to make adjustments for the sake of their child.

Need Help Crafting a Flexible Parental Allocation Plan?


With almost 20 years of experience drafting parenting plans, I know how to create a plan that will grow with your child and help you foster a good sense of flexibility. I also draft plans with specific times for each parent so that everyone has a base schedule to go by. I am ready to help draft yours if you and your child’s other parent can agree. Reach out through my website or call my office to see if I can help you turn your agreements into your parenting plan.


Disclaimer: Disclaimer: The information contained herein is not intended to provide legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. The content is provided “as is” and without warranties of any kind, express or implied. Please consult with a licensed attorney for legal advice tailored to your situation.