When an ex has been ordered to pay child support, it usually means a judge has determined the individual has the financial resources to do so. However, court orders are sometimes disobeyed. Here’s what an Illinois parent can do if an ex fails to pay child support.
What is the standard process for paying child support?
Most child support payments in the state of Illinois are deducted directly from the ex’s wages. The paying parent’s employer receives a Notice to Withhold Income for Support, which begins the process. The withheld amount is sent to the State Disbursement Unit.
The State Disbursement Unit makes a record of each payment and forwards it to the receiving parent. In cases where the employer does not deduct a portion of the parent’s earnings and send it to the SDU, the parent owing the child support must send it independently.
What are the consequences of not paying child support?
In the state of Illinois, willfully failing to pay child support when financial means are available can lead to legal consequences. The ex who is guilty of neglecting to pay child support may be held in contempt of court. Probation or jail time up to six months can result.
Wage garnishment is another possible consequence of not paying child support. The other parent may file a request with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) to have the ex’s employer deduct the owed portion from his or her pay.
The ex who does not pay child support may also have a driver’s license suspended. Driver’s license suspension may occur if child support payments are delinquent for 90 days or more. The courts may issue a limited driving permit for work or medical purposes, however.
When financial records are combined with another individual or business, the courts may require that some of the assets held by the other person or business be used to pay child support. Even fraudulent transfers to another individual or entity may be included.
A criminal conviction is a possibility when an ex neglects to pay child support for over six months or owes more than $10,000 in payments. A Class 4 felony may also be likely if the owing parent leaves the state of Illinois with the intent to avoid paying child support.
A Class 4 felony is punishable by one to three years of jail time. Fines are also a possible consequence. An offending parent may be fined anywhere from $1000 to $25,000, depending on how long the child support goes unpaid and the amount owed.
Child support that goes unpaid for 30 days or more accrues interest until full payment is sent. Additional legal consequences of failing to pay child support include actions by the DCSS, such as seizing bank accounts, intercepting tax refunds and placing liens on properties.
What actions can a parent take against a non-paying ex?
Illinois laws are designed to protect children and the financial interests of parents receiving necessary child support. When court orders for child support payments are broken, the other parent has legal recourse to reclaim his or her entitlement to the payments.
Working with a lawyer is among the fastest ways to recoup the financial payments due. Contacting the DCSS directly to initiate legal actions against the offending spouse is another, albeit slower, option. Plus, working with a child support attorney will more likely lead to quicker, favorable results.
Work with a Family Law Attorney
A family law attorney who specializes in child support enforcement is the best professional to handle legal proceedings against the offending spouse. The lawyer can request remedies in court. A lawyer may request that the judge issue a payment schedule for the child support that the ex owes.
Illinois courts can sentence the offending ex to jail time or fees, especially when the guilty parent is found to be in contempt of court. The parent who is due child support payments should file a Petition for a Rule to Show Cause to initiate the request with a judge.
The ex who does not pay child support must give the courts a reason for the delinquent payments. Justifiable reasons include losing one’s job or no longer being able to afford the payments. This parent has an opportunity to show the judge that the court orders were not intentionally violated.
When the owing parent is unable to justify not paying child support or has a history of failing to make payments, the Illinois judge will set a specific date by which child support payments must be made. Jail time or interest of nine percent on unpaid child support can result.
Child Support Attorneys at Allen Gabe Law, P.C.
Child support payments are necessary to provide for the needs of a child. When support is delinquent, the children’s needs for healthcare and education may go unmet. If you are in a situation where an ex fails to pay child support, seek out legal help from Allen Gabe Law, P.C.
We are firm of skilled family law attorneys who specialize in all aspects of child support. Our dedicated lawyers will help you secure the child support payments to which you are entitled or settle any disputes that arise out of situations surrounding child support matters.
Allen Gabe Law, P.C., lawyers understand the legal ramification of not paying child support. We know how child support payment amounts are determined, how payment amounts can change and how to enforce payments. Our attorneys work to learn the circumstances of each unique situation.
Some parents need to adjust the amount of child support payments. When your situation changes, whether due to medical expenses or financial status, we can help you achieve these ends. We help parents who must change the amount of child support payments to one that is affordable.
Get a Consultation
Whether you seek legal representation to secure child support payments or need help adjusting the amounts of payments, consult the child support lawyers at Allen Gabe Law, P.C. We serve the legal needs of families in Schaumburg, Illinois.
Call us at 847-241-5000, ext. 121 for a confidential consultation.