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Category: Family Law

Illinois Parenting Plan: What about Father’s Day?

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Written by Olivia St. Clair Long on 6.8.23

For divorced parents, including same sex parents, Father’s Day doesn’t have to be a problem! Although too often, it is. And when Father’s Day for divorced parents becomes a problem, it really only affects the children. So, the best way to solve this problem is before it starts: with an Illinois parenting plan.

The purpose of an Illinois parenting plan is to lay out how parenting time, also referred to as visitation, will work for your children. But that doesn’t mean everything is cut and dry. You’re going to have some questions, especially if your divorce is new or you’re settling into a long-distance parenting plan.

In this blog post, you’ll learn more about:


  • How an Illinois parenting plan affects Father’s Day for divorced parents
  • What happens if Father’s Day falls on the other parent’s weekend
  • How holidays are split when co-parenting

Get ready to learn more about this fundamental and important co-parenting concept.

How Do You Split Up Father’s Day in an Illinois Parenting Plan?

An Illinois parenting plan is a legally binding agreement that breaks down how you and the other parent of your child or children will divide parenting time. Putting it plainly, it explains when each of you, individually, will spend time with your child

In June, Americans across the country celebrate Father’s Day. If you’ve received your final parenting plan for Illinois divorce or custody matters, you may have a simple, common question: how do you split up Father’s Day? The law keeps it straightforward: Father’s Day is a day for honoring fathers. So, when you read your standard parenting plan, you’ll see that it says Father’s Day is to be spent with the father.

If you were in a same-sex marriage, your parenting plan might Father’s Day on a yearly basis. This could look like the kids spending Father’s Day with one parent and Mother’s Day with the other on even-numbered years, then switching off on odd-numbered years. Or, you may decide to spend the day together as a family and honor all of the special dads, uncles, and granddads in your life! This can be a wonderful experience for your children as long as you have a positive coparenting relationship. Our Family Wizard shares wonderful coparenting tips.

What If Father’s Day Falls on the Other Parent’s Weekend?

Of course, you’ve probably asked yourself by now, or at least worried about: what happens when Father’s Day falls on the other parent’s weekend? It’s totally understandable to be worried about this and want to know what happens when it happens. If you’re the dad, you’re going to want to see your kid on Father’s Day. If you’re the other parent, you don’t want to lose out on time with your child at all. Fortunately, this is, again, a common question with a rather straightforward answer.

Father’s Day is a holiday that takes precedence over the regular parenting time schedule. Even if it’s the other parent’s weekend, the kids stay with their dad. Whether your child stays with their father for the duration of an entire weekend or simply just for Father’s Day itself depends on the terms of the Illinois parenting plan or the agreement you come to with the other parent.

If you have trouble communicating with the other parent because neither of you can effectively come to an agreement about Father’s Day, Our Family Wizard is an app you may want to consider. They also have an excellent article on co-parenting etiquette for both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

How Do You Split the Holidays When Co-Parenting?

After reading a blog about Father’s Day for divorced parents, you’re going to naturally think about other holidays and raise a question, especially if you’ve only recently started working on a parenting plan: how do you split the holidays when co-parenting?

You should understand that each parenting plan is different depending on the situation; you must the parenting plan. Once that plan is signed, it is a legal order. That’s not to say you and the other parent can’t make agreements with one another to make things easier! However, if you feel it’s necessary to modify your parenting plan to support ongoing changes, you’re need to modify it through the Illinois Court to get it done. After all, if you run into a disagreement, the Court can only enforce the existing agreement.

Whether you have a long-distance parenting plan in Illinois or both of you live in the same town, your agreement will detail how the holidays are to be split. A long-distance parenting plan could, for instance, state that the parent who lives out of state will spend time with the child for the entire summer and every other Christmas break.

For co-parents who do not have long-distance parenting plans and live in the same state, there’s a general rule that most parenting plans follow. Holidays other than Father’s Day and Mother’s Day follow an odd-year, even-year schedule. One parent will spend time with the kids on holidays on even-numbered years, while the other parent will spend time with the kids on other holidays. Long breaks like Christmas and summer are split. Which parent spends the first part of the break with the kids depends on that even or odd year. The following year, it switches.

Kids’ birthdays are handled identically. On an even-numbered year, one parent will spend the day with the birthday kid. On an odd-numbered year, the other parent gets to see the kid for his or her birthday. On either parent’s birthday, the parent gets to spend that day with their child.

Free Consultation: Illinois Parenting Plan

Even if you’re adjusted to the co-parenting lifestyle, co-parenting with Father’s Day and other holidays can be challenging. It can be extra challenging if you’re new to the process! If you’re having trouble adapting to your Illinois parenting plan or if you think now is the time to take a second look at your existing plan, reach out to O. Long Law. We provide free 30-minute consultations. We’re here to help.

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