What Happens When a Parent Does Not Pay Child Support in Illinois?
All parents in Illinois are responsible for providing financial support for their children. This is a fairly straightforward matter during a marriage, but after divorce, it can become more complicated. In many cases, the non-custodial parent is responsible for paying child support to the custodial parent, and these payments are meant to help with daily expenses and costs associated with raising the child. Sometimes, a non-custodial parent may find him or herself in financial trouble, or he or she may want to punish the other parent by refusing to pay support. However, a non-custodial parent can face severe consequences for not paying court-ordered child support. Custodial parents should be sure to understand their options for enforcing payment of child support that is owed.
In some cases, a parent may work with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services’ Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) to enforce payment of child support. A parent may also work with a family law attorney to take legal action through the court. The consequences a non-paying parent may face include:
If a parent does not pay child support, his or her wages may be garnished to ensure that payments are made on time and in full. An Income Withholding for Support request will be sent to the parent’s employer. This notice will include instructions regarding the amount the employer should withhold from the parent’s paychecks and where to send that money. A wage garnishment order can ensure that ongoing child support obligations are met, or it may remain in effect until the entire balance of past-due child support is paid, along with interest.
In cases when wage garnishment is not possible, other methods may be used to collect child support that is past due. These may include seizing tax refunds or bank accounts or placing liens on property.
After a parent is 90 days or more delinquent in paying child support, the Family Financial Responsibility Act allows his or her driver’s license to be revoked. A parent may also face suspension or denial of his or her passport, recreational licenses, or even a professional license. A non-custodial parent may be able to avoid these actions by paying the child support that is owed before the effective date of the suspension.
In the most extreme cases, a parent that does not pay child support may face criminal contempt of court charges, which could result in fines and imprisonment. The amount of these fines and the duration of imprisonment will depend on the amount of child support that is owed. These drastic measures are typically only taken when a parent has not paid child support for at least six months, or when the amount of child support owed is $5,000 or more.
Need Help With Child Support? Call an Experienced Barrington Divorce Lawyer
Child support can be a complicated issue, and if you are struggling with making payments or receiving the support your children need, you should speak to a dedicated Inverness family law attorney today. Attorney Nicholas W. Richardson can help you get a modification of an order if you are having trouble paying child support. If you are not receiving support from your former partner, Attorney Richardson will help you take the necessary steps to ensure that your children are properly provided for. Call our office today at 847.873.6741 for your free consultation to discuss child support or other family law issues.