The Rise and Fall of the Standard Visitation Plan
April 11, 2023 at 5:30 PM
by Amanda
The Rise and Fall of the Standard Visitation Plan
  • The Rise of the Standard Parenting Plan

The primary purpose of a any parenting plan is to provide a framework for sharing time with your child(ren) that works best for both parties and takes into account the needs of the child or children involved. The default position of the Courts when I began my career is that one parent would be the weekday parent and the other parent was mostly a weekend-only parent. The “standard visitation plan” includes provisions such as every other weekend and, sometimes one night per week for the parent with less time, as well as shared holidays and summers. It may delineate who makes decisions concerning a child’s education, health care, and sports. This type of plan is premised that the mother is the one who should be tasked with raising the children and the children’s father is too busy working to have more time than weekends. In other words, it is based on a old-fashioned model that mothers are the default parents in every relationship. It remains a common plan that Judges choose after a trial.

  • Modern Parenting Plans are not Always the “Standard Visitation Plan”

It’s important to note parenting plans are not one-size-fits-all; each family has its own unique circumstances that need to be taken into consideration when creating a parenting plan that works for them. If you have an old-fashioned view of gender roles in the family dynamic—that is, if you think mothers should always raise their children while fathers should primarily provide financial support—you'll need to adjust your expectations accordingly. The court will likely consider what is in the best interest of the child before it makes any final decisions about parenting arrangements and parenting time.

  • Parenting Plans Have Become more Equitable

Parenting plans in 2023 encompass every type of family and are as unique and varied as the people themselves. Common plans include parallel parenting with rotating schedules; splitting the week in half and rotating weekends (the 5-2-2-5 plan); plans that divide time where one parent has 4 days one week and three the next; one parent having 3 of 4 weekends; parents having the child(ren) with them when they are off from work; and so on. For every family, there is a unique plan.

  • What Can You Do To Make Sure Your Parenting Plan Is Successful?

Your parenting plan should be as detailed as possible so that there are no misunderstandings between you and your ex-spouse regarding who is responsible for what when it comes to raising your children together apart from one another. It's also important to make sure both parties are on board with all aspects of the decision before signing off on anything; after all, it’s not just about protecting you but also making sure your child’s best interests are taken into consideration at all times. But the most successful parenting plan is the one that is the best for your child and makes sure that your child is able to have a relationship with all of the people in his or her life.

  • Beware of the trap of sharing time means that no one pays child support.

Some people believe that if parents have split time parenting, then there is no need for child support, which is not at all true. In Illinois, child support can still be required even if parents have split time parenting. The amount of child support will be based on the same factors that are used to determine child support in any other case, such as the income of both parents and the amount of time each parent spends with the child.

There are a few reasons why child support is still required even in cases of split time parenting. First, child support is not just about paying for the child's needs. It is also about ensuring that both parents are contributing to the child's financial support. Even if parents have split time parenting, both parents still have a financial obligation to their child. Child support can help to ensure that the child has a stable and consistent lifestyle. Even if parents have split time parenting, the child should still have a sense of stability and consistency. Child support can help to provide this stability. If you want to calculate it for yourself, look here.

Creating a successful parenting plan takes an attorney who has drafted plenty of them and can help you figure out what works -- and can share her advice about what does not work long term. With careful planning and communication between both parties throughout this process, you can create a successful arrangement that meets your unique needs. If you have the ability to work this though with your soon-to-be-ex, I would love to help you make your plan official. Reach out to my office through my website or call me if you are ready to move forward.