Illinois Parenting Time Schedule Guidelines

Parenting time refers to your physical custody of a child.

A judge must approve all parenting time schedules, even when parents come to an agreement. In more complicated cases, the court will decide on a schedule for the parents.

Keep in mind that schedules should align with your child's needs and can affect your child support payments. Although Illinois defaults to shared parenting time (unless your parenting has been called into question), parents will not necessarily get equal time.

The schedule is a part of your parenting plan, meaning it is a legally binding document. It is important to follow the schedule as written, though parents can adjust it if both agree.

Custody X Change is software that creates Illinois parenting time schedules, calendars, and parenting plans.

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Common schedules

Parents can adjust popular parenting schedules to fit their needs, or create a schedule from scratch.

Remember that Illinois courts want a child to spend time with both parents whenever it's in the child's best interests.

3-4-4-3 schedule: This is an equal parenting time schedule. First, one parent gets three days, and the other parent gets four. Then the schedule flips.

Every extended weekend schedule: This schedule gives one parent 60 percent of the time with the child and the other parent 40 percent. It's useful for parents wanting weekday stability in one residence. The other parent gets every weekend.

Every 3rd week schedule: In this schedule, parents split time 70/30. One parent gets two weeks with the child, then the other parent gets one week.

What to address in your parenting time schedule

Parenting schedules should address:

Holiday schedules disrupt regular parenting time schedules. Some parents alternate holidays, while others celebrate the same holidays each year with their children.

Be aware that some holidays coincide with school breaks, which can have their own schedules.

Illinois recommends assigning first priority to holiday schedules, second priority to school breaks schedules and final priority to regular schedules.

Parents should also consider how vacation time will work. Can it overlap with the other parent's scheduled time? Can the child be removed from school for vacation? How long can a vacation last? Address these issues in your parenting plan.

Other parenting time arrangements

Supervised parenting time may be necessary when a child would be at risk if left alone with a parent. Some counties in Illinois have supervised visitation centers for families, providing a neutral and monitored site for a parent to interact with their child.

Courts may restrict interactions with a child when a parent has a history of abuse, especially if the child was the victim. Addiction issues can also severely limit the time a parent is allowed to spend with their child.

Visualize your schedule

If you're like most parents, your parenting time schedule will make zero sense until you see it on a calendar.

A visual explanation of your schedule is not required, but it creates clarity when you negotiate with the other parent, when you present your request to the court, and when it comes time to actually transfer the kids back and forth.

Unfortunately, turning legal descriptions into day planner entries can be overwhelming. Let the Custody X Change app create a customizable calendar you can understand at a glance, all based on your written parenting time schedule.

You can also use your Custody X Change calendar before you have a written schedule; start by clicking days and times on the calendar, then watch as the app automatically generates a written description of your choices.

This written description is what a judge will use to assess any schedule you propose, so take advantage of Custody X Change to ensure yours meets legal requirements.

Custody X Change is software that creates Illinois parenting time schedules, calendars, and parenting plans.

Make My Illinois Schedule Now

Custody X Change is software that creates Illinois parenting time schedules, calendars, and parenting plans.

Make My Schedule