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Arlington Heights child support enforcement lawyerGetting the financial support a child needs to do well is a priority for all parents who receive this money. Often, this parent is the child’s primary caregiver, meaning without child support from the other parent, they would be solely responsible for the high cost of raising the child. Being a single parent has enough burdens without the added stress of not receiving regular child support and finding oneself struggling to make ends meet. Unfortunately, the child is the one who is the most negatively affected by this situation because the non-payment of child support means the child must forego certain opportunities.

The state of Illinois has a vested interested in both parents supporting their children and offers a number of enforcement options to compel payment. A standard consequence of failing to pay child support is the suspension of the delinquent parent’s driver’s license. However, starting this year, the penalty for being caught driving on a suspended license related to unpaid child support was reduced to a petty crime. Petty crimes are purely fineable offenses, whereas misdemeanors, the former classification for license suspension related to child support, could include jail time. Thus, the delinquent parent has less incentive to become compliant because the consequences for not paying are now lower. Child support enforcement should still be pursued, but this new change is worth noting.

Court Enforcement 

Child support orders, whether issued as part of divorce or paternity proceedings, are not something a parent can choose to ignore without facing consequences. The parent receiving support is entitled to seek enforcement with the courts to secure this right for the child. The primary way a parent can ask the court to enforce a child support order is to submit a petition for contempt. Violating a court order is not permissible, and a judge can order a delinquent parent to settle the arrears that includes interest after 30 days, or the parent may face jail time until some portion of the amount due is paid. Probation may also be ordered, and if jailed, but released to work, a parent may have his/her wages garnished to settle the overdue amount. In addition, if the parent owns a business, the court can order the seizure of these assets to put toward the back child support.

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Palatine family law attorney, child support ordersBeing a single parent is one of the hardest roles someone can fill. No one is there to take over and give the parent a break, and inevitably more of the financial burden falls on this parent. However, all parents have an ongoing obligation to financially support their child until he or she becomes a legal adult, and divorce or legal separation does not relieve this duty.

Child support is even more important today with the ever-rising costs associated with raising a child that is partially connected to new expectations of participation in extracurricular activities and use of technology. Thus, any parent who provides the bulk of childcare needs to be able to rely on regular child support payments to ensure enough money is available to provide for the child's needs.

Child support provisions are included in all divorce decrees between parties who share minor children and can also be obtained through a paternity action if the child's parents are unmarried. Understanding how the Court determines how much the child support payment should be, and how to enforce the obligation if a parent fails to pay, is essential information for any parent receiving this money.

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Palatine family law attorney, International Child Support ConventionPresident Obama recently signed the instrument of ratification for the Hague Convention on International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance. The purpose of this Convention is to establish uniform, simplified, cost-free rules and procedures for processing child support cases on an international level. Ratification of this Convention is groundbreaking; prior to the Convention, there were no standardized and efficient procedures for international child support cases, and each country had different costly and time-consuming procedures to follow. This Convention represents the first global child support treaty ratified by the United States. Now, American children who have a parent living in a foreign country who is party to the Convention will have additional recourse to collect the financial support that they need in a much more timely manner.

Application of the Convention

There are an estimated 15 million child support cases in the United States, with about 150,000 international child support cases. The newly ratified Convention addresses financial obligations that arise from a relationship between parent and his or her child who is under 21 years of age. In addition to child support, the Convention also contains enforcement procedures for spousal support.

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child support orders, college expenses, college expenses and divorce, educational expenses, Nicholas W. Richardson, Palatine child support attorneyMost parents hope that their children attend college or vocational school after high school graduation, and many want to help their children pay expenses associated with earning that higher education. But with 57.4 percent of all Illinois high school graduates going directly to college, are parents required to pay for their child’s college education? Or does their child support duty end when the child turns 18?

Support for Non-Minor Child’s Educational Expenses in Illinois

In most Illinois child support orders, the obligor parent (the one ordered to pay support) is no longer required to make payments once his or her child graduates from high school or turns 19. However, in some instances, the Court can order child support payments to be paid toward a child’s educational expenses, including college or other professional training.

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