The Rise and Fall of the Standard Visitation Plan

April 11, 2023


In the past, the typical parenting plan in Illinois often favored a traditional family structure.. Mothers were often assumed to be the primary caregivers, while fathers had limited visitation rights. This is the so-called “standard visitation plan”. But times have changed, and so have the courts’ views on parenting. Gone are the days of the ‘standard visitation pan’ being ordered in every case. Now, Illinois focuses on a child-first point of view and requires parents to enter into a parenting allocation plan.

Today’s Parenting Plans: Tailored to Your Unique Family


In 2023, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all parenting plan. Illinois courts prioritize the best interests of the child, recognizing that every family is unique. Modern parenting plans are diverse, including options like:

  • Equal Parenting Time: Each parent spends a week with the child or children.
  • 5-2-2-5 Plan: A popular schedule where children spend 5 days with one parent, 2 days with the other, followed by another 2-5 split, creating a predictable routine.
  • Rotating Weekends: Children alternate weekends with each parent, providing consistent weekend contact.
  • Work-Schedule Based: Parenting time aligns with each parent’s work schedule, ensuring both parents have quality time with the child during their off days.
  • Parallel Parenting: For high-conflict situations, parents minimize direct communication and create consistent routines within their own households.

Crafting a Successful Parenting Plan

The most successful parenting plans are detailed, flexible, and child-focused. They address everything from daily routines and holidays to decision-making about healthcare and education. Most importantly, they prioritize the child’s well-being and foster healthy relationships with both parents.

The Child Support Myth

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking equal parenting time means no child support. Even with a 50/50 split, financial support is can still be ordered. Child support calculations in Illinois consider both parents’ incomes and the time each parent spends with the child. This comes from an Illinois Supreme Court case called In re Marriage of Turk. The Illinois Supreme Court is the final authority of the law in Illinois. In Turk, the dad, who made more money but had more time paid support to the mother, who made less money and had a lot less time with the children. Child support is to make sure the children have their needs met at both homes.

Need Help Creating a Parenting Plan?

As an experienced family lawyer in Illinois, I can help you craft a parenting plan that fits your family’s unique needs. I’ll guide you through the process, offer insights on what works (and what doesn’t), and ensure your child’s best interests are protected.

Let’s work together to create a parenting plan that sets your family up for success.

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.


Disclaimer: The information presented in this blog post is for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or a substitute for professional counsel. This post does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is strongly recommended that you consult with a qualified attorney to discuss the specifics of your situation and obtain personalized legal guidance.