Child support payments are typically ordered by the court as part of a divorce decree, but child support payments can also be included in a legal separation agreement. In some cases, both parties may mutually settle upon the payment arrangement. Regardless of the situation (divorce or separation), there are laws in Illinois that ensure that child support orders are enforceable. However, even though child support orders are legally binding, some parents may still struggle to collect payments from a former spouse or partner. Disagreements over late, missing, or inadequate payments can create heated disagreements and high tension in both newly divorced couples and partners who have long been separated. If you are struggling to collect child support payments, a knowledgeable child support attorney can advise you of your legal options.
What Happens During a Child Support Hearing?
In the state of Illinois, a child support hearing may be conducted in one of two places: a courtroom presided over by a judge or through the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS). During a child support hearing, each party will answer questions about their specific circumstances, which will allow the court to determine the correct amount of support. A couple who has not yet established paternity may need to address the issue of legal fatherhood first before a child support order can be issued.
During a child support hearing, the judge or HFS will require specific information in order to make decisions about the case. Questions that need answering may include:
How many children are involved?
What is each party’s current employment status?
What is the income of each party?
What are the living expenses for each party?
In addition, each parent may need to answer questions about tax obligations and insurance as they relate to a child support order.
How Is Child Support Collected in Illinois?
Normally, child support payments can be paid electronically by credit card, or automatic deductions may be taken from the payor’s bank account. Payments can also be submitted via mail, or a person’s wages may be garnished, and the amount of support payments may be directly taken from their paychecks by their employer. Late or delinquent payments can cause stress and create tension between the two parties, since the receiving spouse typically depends on that financial assistance to care for his or her child.
Collection Remedies for Delinquent Support
Because of the Illinois laws that protect child support, HFS employs a variety of collection solutions for pursuing late support. For instance, HFS may employ the following remedies in the pursuit of delinquent payments:
Federal and state tax refund interception
Interception of gambling winnings via The Child Support Intercept Program
Suspension of the delinquent party’s driver’s license
Suspension of the offending party’s professional license
Suspension of a U.S. passport (or denial to renew one)
Inclusion of missed payments on credit reports
Contact a Lombard, IL Divorce Attorney
If you are owed child support but have not been receiving payments on time or in full, this can be frustrating on both an emotional and financial level. A compassionate DuPage County child support lawyer can help you navigate these issues and determine your best options for receiving the support your child needs. At A. Traub & Associates, we strive to protect your parental rights, whether you are seeking late payments or need to establish child support for your child. We can guide you through the process of obtaining and enforcing child support, and we will help you reach an outcome that meets the specific needs of you and your children. To request a confidential consultation, call us today at 630-426-0196.