At a minimum, an Illinois Parenting Plan must contain the following:

  • A section designating which parent or parents will be assigned to significant decision-making responsibilities for the child, including matters relating to the child’s education, medical treatment, extracurricular activities, religious upbringing, and choice of daycare or babysitter.
  • A schedule designating where the child will live, and on what days; or a formula or method for determining such a schedule.
  • A section providing that the parties may attend mediation to resolve future issues regarding a change of parental responsibilities or parenting time schedule.  This provision is not necessary if only one parent will be assigned all decision-making responsibilities for the children.
  • A section providing that each parent has access to the children’s mental, dental, and psychological records; child care records, school and extracurricular records, reports and schedules. This would not be required if there is a court order restricting parenting rights.
  • A section designating which parent has the majority of parenting time, pursuant to 750 ILCS 5/606.10, for purposes of all State and federal statutes that require a designation or determination of custody or a custodian.
  • A paragraph designating the child’s residential address, for school enrollment purposes.
  • Each parent’s home address and telephone number.
  • Each parent’s employment addresses and telephone numbers.
  • A provision that each parent must give 60 days advanced written notice if they change their residence. The written notice must include the intended date of the move, and the new address.  Such notice is required unless it is impracticable, or unless a court orders otherwise.  If impracticable, the moving parent must give notice at the earliest practicable time.
  • Provisions requiring each parent to notify the other of emergencies, health care, travel plans, or other significant child-related issues.
  • Provisions establishing the transportation arrangements relating to the exchange of the children for parenting time.
  • Provisions establishing when and how each parent shall be able to communicate with the children during the other parent’s parenting time.
  • Provisions for how to resolve issues if a parent wishes to change residences in the future, if applicable.
  • Provisions relating to future modifications of the parenting plan, if certain events occur.
  • A provision for the exercise of the right of first refusal, if desired by both parents. This refers to a parent’s right to have the child during the other parent’s scheduled parenting time, if the other parent is unable to have his or her scheduled parenting time for work or other reasons.  This provision must set out how the right for first refusal can be invoked, the notice and response required of both parents in such an event, the transportation requirements, and any other necessary related requirement to protect and promote the child’s best interests.
  • Any other provision that would address the child’s best interests, or that would facilitate cooperation between both parents.