Illinois Remedies for Failure to Pay Child Support
The divorce is finalized and child support, and custody orders are in place. Your ex has always been sporadic about making child support payments — some are on time, others are late. Yet the late payments are double what is required in order to make up for the missing payments. However, months have passed since you have received a check, and your ex will not return your calls.
What can be done to enforce payment, and what are the potential ramifications for your ex-spouse?
Illinois Child Support Enforcement
If your ex-spouse (the obligor) is delinquent in child support payments, meaning he or she has missed making one or more payments, you will need to file a motion for post-decree enforcement of the child support order. By submitting a “Petition for Rule to Show Cause,” pending you can show that the obligor’s failure to make child support payments is without good cause, he or she can be held in contempt of Court.
In many instances, filing a motion to enforce is sufficient to cause a spouse to pay the delinquency and end the issue.
Ramification of Failure to Comply with Illinois Child Support Order
Failure to comply with a Court order, including a child support order, is punishable as contempt. Once an obligor is found to be in contempt, a Judge can impose one or more of the following penalties:
- Periodic imprisonment, not to exceed six months, with release authorized during work hours;
- Order part or all of the income earned during periodic imprisonment to be paid to the custodial parent; or
- Order assets owned by a business the obligor is a member or owner of to be used to pay arrears.
The Court also has the power to suspend an obligor’s driving privileges. This suspension may only be ordered if:
- Child support has not been paid for 90 days or more; or
- The party has been adjudicated delinquent in an amount equal to 90 days’ payment or more.
An obligor can be adjudicated in child support payments, even though he or she has made payments in the prior 90 days, if he or she has paid less than the full amount. For example, if an obligor, ordered to pay $500 per month, has only paid $250 every month for the past six months, he or she will be delinquent in the amount of $1,500 — the same amount that should have been paid during a 90-day period. Thus, he or she will be considered delinquent in an amount equal to 90 days’ payment.
Driving privileges will be reinstated when the Court determines that the parent is in compliance with the Court’s order or is no longer in arrears. Because suspension of driving privileges could make it difficult for some to get to their job — and thus cause the child support payments to become more delinquent — the Court can issue a “family financial responsibility driving permit” that authorizes the obligor to drive for employment purposes.
Palatine Child Support Enforcement Attorney
Many custodial parents rely on their monthly child support payments to meet their child’s needs. If your ex-spouse has fallen behind on his or her payments, contact Palatine child support attorney Nicholas W. Richardson. With more than a decade of experience handling post-decree modification issues like delinquent child support orders, Nicholas W. Richardson will work with your ex-spouse to settle the outstanding payment, or take the case back to Court to seek payment and possibly have your ex-spouse held in contempt. His office serves clients in Palatine, Arlington Heights, Rolling Meadows and the surrounding Chicago suburbs. Call today to schedule a free consultation.