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The Holidays and Child Allocation: Who Gets Parenting Time?

By Nottage and Ward on December 7, 2017

The holidays are for families to enjoy together, but if you and you partner have divorced and you do not have sole allocation, then parenting time may have been allotted by the court.

If you live in Illinois and have joint allocation of parenting time, you will both have information about your parenting time schedule in your Allocation Judgment of Parental Responsibilities. This document will include the following details:

  • Residential schedule: This will show allotted parenting time on weekdays and weekends. For example, you may have a schedule that’s shared 50/50, alternating weeks, or every weekend.
  • Holiday schedule: This will detail the allotted parenting time during holidays and special occasions. For example, you may split the holidays in half or alternate holidays each year.
  • Summer break schedule: This will show allotted parenting time during the summer break.
  • Vacation schedule: Each parent will have allotted vacation time with the child.

Any Illinois parent who abuses the other’s allotted parenting time may be punished with make-up time, fines, or even time in jail.


When You Can’t Agree

When it comes to working out parenting time, every case is unique. It may not also be easy for you and your co-parent to work out a rigid schedule. If you already have a parenting time schedule, you may apply to the court at any time for a modification, provided that you show how your circumstances have changed substantially and that an adjustment in allotted parenting time would be in the best interests of the child.

When you petition the court for a change in allotted parenting time, the court will take into consideration the wishes of the other parent, the child’s wishes, the child’s health, and any factors pertaining to the child and his or her connection to home, school, and community. If you wish to restrict allotted parenting time for your co-parent, you must provide evidence that parenting time in these circumstances would pose a serious endangerment to the physical, mental, moral, or emotional health of the child.

Because the last thing you want is to cause emotional distress for your child during the holidays, the best thing is to retain an experienced family law attorney to advocate for you. This way you can be sure that your child’s best interests are being put first. Working with an attorney means that you can avoid complicated and inconsistent allocation of parenting time.

If you live in the Chicago area and you and your co-parent are having difficulties negotiating the allotment of parenting time, don’t let the children suffer. Contact our experienced lawyers at (312) 332-2915. Our legal team at Nottage and Ward, LLP, has more than 25 years’ experience with family law. We are committed to helping you and your family preserve your rights.

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