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Category: Family Law

Illinois Parenting Plan: What about Mother’s Day?

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Written by Olivia St. Clair Long on 5.10.23

Mother’s Day for divorced parents can be great or…less than great (if we’re using court-appropriate words). Although the purpose of an Illinois parenting plan is to explain how parenting time for the minor children is split, several questions often come up, particularly when the divorce is new or if you’re now dealing with a long distance parenting plan.

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

  • How a parenting plan in Illinois affects Mother’s Day for divorced parents;
  • What happens if it falls on the other parent’s weekend; and
  • How holidays are split when co-parenting.

Let’s explore this crucial co-parenting concept.

How Do You Split Up Mother’s Day? 

An Illinois parenting plan is a legally binding agreement that outlines how you and the other parent of your child (or children) will manage the parenting time. It explains when each of you will spend time with your child individually.

Every May, Mother’s Day comes around. A common question when you’ve only recently received your shared parenting plan for Illinois divorce or custody matters is: How do you split up Mother’s Day? The answer is that Mother’s Day is a day for honoring mothers. So, when you read your standard parenting plan, you’ll notice that it says that Mother’s Day shall be spent with the mother.

If you’re in a same-sex relationship, you may decide to have one Mother’s Day spent with one parent on even-numbered years while Father’s Day is spent with the other parent on that year. Then, switch off on odd-numbered years.

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

Another important question that should be answered is: What if Mother’s Day falls on the other parent’s weekend? Here at O. Long Law, we understand why you’re worried about what happens if Mother’s Day falls during the other parent’s weekend. If you’re the mom, what if you don’t get to see your child on Mother’s Day? Are you losing out on time with your child if you’re the other parent?

Mother’s Day is a holiday that usurps the regular parenting time schedule. So, if it’s the other parent’s weekend, mom gets the child. Depending on the terms of your Illinois parenting plan or the agreement you come to with the other parent, your child might be with mom for the whole weekend or just for the day.

If you struggle to communicate with the other parent because the two of you cannot do so effectively about Mother’s Day, Our Family Wizard is an app you may find helpful. They also have a great article on co-parenting etiquette for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

How Do You Split the Holidays When Co-parenting?

Since we are discussing Mother’s Day for divorced parents, it’s only natural that if you’ve only recently started working on a parenting plan, your next question is: How do you split the holidays when co-parenting?

It depends on what the parenting plan states. Once the parenting plan is signed, that is what you and the other parent are expected to follow. Of course, you and the other parent can make agreements to work with each other. However, if modifications to the parenting plan need to occur to support ongoing changes, this needs to be done through the Illinois Court because if a disagreement occurs, the Court can only enforce the existing agreement.

With that said, even if you have a long distance parenting plan in Illinois or if you both live in the same town, how the holidays are split will be explained. For long distance parenting plans, it could read something like the parent who lives out of state will get the child for the entire summer and every other Christmas break. For co-parents who do not have long distance parenting plans, holidays other than Mother’s Day and Father’s Day generally follow an odd-year, even-year schedule. One parent will spend time with the child on certain holidays in even-numbered years, and the other parent will spend time with the child on other holidays. Longer breaks, such as Christmas and summer, are split. Which parent spends the first part of the break with the child depends on that even or odd year. The following year, it switches.

The child’s birthday is handled in the same manner. On an even-numbered year, one parent will spend the day with the child. On an odd-numbered year, the other parent gets that time. For each parent’s birthday, they get to spend time with the child.

Free Consultation: Illinois Parenting Plan

Co-parenting with Mother’s Day and other holidays can be difficult, especially when you’re just starting the process. If you’re struggling to navigate your Illinois parenting plan or if you believe it may be time to modify it, reach out to O. Long Law. We provide free 30-minute consultations. We’re here to help.

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