Can Unmarried Couples Settle Child Issues through Mediation?
Most of the courts in Illinois require a couple to go through mediation in cases involving allocation of parental responsibilities, visitation, and relocation before going through the court system. Child support will still be determined by the family court judge, however, all other issues can be settled in mediation.
This right is also given to unmarried parents, but there is an extra step that the couple must go through before heading to mediation.
When a couple has a child without being married, paternity cannot be assumed. It must be proven either through a court-ordered paternity test or a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form that can be filled out and filed at the time of a child’s birth.
If a father claims the child and all the proper paperwork is filed, the couple can go through a mediator to determine the allocation of parental responsibilities including:
- Where the child will live and with which parent
- How much time a child can visit with their non-custodial parent
- Where the child will attend school
- Who will be the child’s primary decision-maker on issues of health and religion
Child Support Determination
While some states allow parents to come to an agreed-upon amount for child support payments, Illinois requires that parental partners must have their payments determined by the court system.
The court will determine the cost of raising the child based on their needs and then divide the total between both parents. The division will be based on each parent’s income as well as:
- The amount of parenting time each parent has with the child
- The number of parental responsibilities each parent already has
A lot of the time there are extra expenses that parents need to consider:
- Reoccuring medical payments and procedures
- Extracurricular activities
- School tuition
These will all be brought to the court to help determine a final decision of child support payments that each parent will be responsible for each month.
Contact a St. Charles, IL Mediation Lawyer
Each parent should have a fair amount of time with their child and a fair amount to pay for their upkeep. Shaw Family Law, P.C. offers couples help with mediation and litigation so that you can have someone by your side to make sure your rights are not taken advantage of throughout the process of your separation. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County mediator, call 630-584-5550.