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....