When Illinois parents of minor children decide that they no longer want to remain married, they must come to an agreement on child support. Two common ways to do this include informal negotiations and alternative dispute resolution processes. Both of these options occur outside the traditional courtroom setting, potentially making it easier for parents to work together for the benefit of their children.

If the parents are able to work together, they could reach an agreement in an informal setting. Some parents may work out their agreement without outside help, though others choose to work with their attorneys to finalize the agreement before it is submitted to a judge and some prefer to work with attorneys throughout the entire process. Ultimately, the parents are looking to come to a written agreement that can be approved by the court.

Alternative dispute resolution is another option that parents can use when they need to come to an agreement on child support. Two options that parents have are mediation and collaborative law. ADR processes are often more casual than a traditional court setting, which can make it easier to reach an agreement on key issues that have an impact on the children. Parents also get to have a more active role in the final decision.

When an Illinois court gets involved, the amount of child support a noncustodial parent will be required to pay is determined by a set of child support guidelines, which take into account a number of different factors including parental income. An attorney can explain these factors to a client that wishes to come to an accord without having a judge make the decision.