If I Work Extended Overtime, Can I Make Up My Parenting Time?

If I Work Extended Overtime, Can I Make Up My Parenting Time?

By: Gordon & Perlut, LLC

Many parents in Illinois have irregular schedules that do not allow them to spend significant amounts of time with their children in the evenings or on the weekends. In situations where a parent ends up working a substantial number of overtime hours that affects the existing parenting plan or allocation of parenting time, that parent might want to know if she or he can make up that parenting time later on. They may want to do this by having an extra weekend with the child, for example, or a few extra overnights.

The answer depends in part upon the existing parenting plan or allocation judgment, and whether or not the extended overtime hours are likely to continue for an extended period of time in the future. This could result in requiring a modification of parenting time. Our child custody lawyers in Skokie and Chicago know how important it is for you to spend as much time with your children as possible, and we can help when you are dealing with parenting time complications due to overtime hours.

Parenting Plans or Allocation Judgments with Accommodation Clauses

When parents are able to communicate with one another and to collaborate on a parenting plan that focuses on the best interests of their child, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) allows the parents to allocate parental responsibilities themselves. If parents work together on a parenting plan through which they allocate parenting time, they likely know that there is a need to consider each parent’s work schedule and the possible extended overtime hours that one of the parents might take — either infrequently or routinely.

A parenting plan gives parents much flexibility, and the parents can include an accommodation clause that outlines how a parent will “make up” parenting time lost due to extended overtime hours or other work-related issues. These kinds of clauses, or similar agreements, can allow parents to plan ahead for work-related parenting time disruptions and to have a plan in place for the affected parent to make up lost parenting time hours.

Such agreements are more common when one of the parents knows that she or he has an irregular work schedule, or when that parent tends to pick up overtime hours on a regular basis. Depending upon the circumstances, even if the parents cannot reach an agreement about the parenting plan, the court’s allocation judgment may be able to include a clause about accommodating a parent’s irregular or overtime work schedule.

Modifying Your Existing Parenting Plan

If your parenting plan or allocation judgment does not have any provisions for handling missed parenting time due to extended overtime, or if these extended overtime hours are new and you are expecting them to continue indefinitely into the future, you may need to seek a modification.

The IMDMA allows a parent to modify an existing parenting plan or allocation judgment if a substantial change in circumstances has occurred. A major change to a parent’s work hours, which is expected to last into the future, is often a reason that parents are able to request and obtain a modification.

Learn More from Our Skokie Child Custody Attorneys

Have your work hours changed, and do you need help managing parenting time? Our experienced Chicago and Skokie child custody lawyers can speak with you about ways of making up parenting time according to your existing parenting plan, allocation judgment or seeking a modification. Contact Gordon & Perlut, LLC to learn more about how we can help.