The ideal situation is that the parents come up with the parenting plan on their own of what they want. In Illinois, a lot of people feel that child support is tied to parenting. In some ways it is, but in some ways it isn’t. We have case law that says the non-primary parent will pay child support to the other. We have case law that says the primary parent will pay child support to the other. It really is one of those things where you kind of have to look at facts of the case and try to figure out if the parties are able to go to mediation and work it out.
In fact, in Illinois, we require that if they don’t have an agreement for them to go for three hours of mediation, if they still don’t have an agreement, then they have to go to the next step, which might be an attorney for the child, a Guardian ad Litem, or a psychologist. When you’re starting down those roads, you’re talking about a lot of money.
With 30 years of experience in family law, Laura M. Urbik Kern is a certified mediator and family lawyer who concentrates on dissolution, family and juvenile law, child support, and complex domestic relations cases.