If you are a single parent, you know just how hard it can be to manage child-rearing expenses on your own. In Illinois, both parents are responsible for the costs associated with raising a child – even if those parents who are divorced or never married. Child support is typically paid by the parent with less parenting time to the parent with more parenting time in order to share child-related costs between parents. Unfortunately, some parents do not take their child support obligation seriously. They skip payments, do not pay in full, or they use excuse after excuse to avoid financial responsibility. If your child’s other parent is neglecting his or her child support obligation, a family law attorney can help.
Only Court-Ordered Child Support Payments are Enforceable
Some parents assume that they do not need to get a formal child support order from the court. They may think that establishing child support through the court is a waste of time and that they can simply agree on a child support arrangement casually. Unfortunately, the court has no authority to enforce “handshake” agreements for child support. This is why it is crucial for single parents to file an official petition for child support with the court. If you are a mother who is seeking child support from a father who is not listed on the child’s birth certificate, you may need to establish legal paternity before you are eligible for child support.
Filing a Motion for Enforcement of a Child Support Order
If a parent is not paying court-ordered child support, the recipient parent will need to file a motion for post-decree enforcement of child support. The court has the authority to take several actions against him or her. The non-paying parent may be subject to:
- Wage garnishment and/or bank account garnishment
- Property liens
- Driver’s license revocation
- Interception of tax refunds
- Seizure of assets
If a parent refuses to pay, he or she can even be held in contempt of court and subject to criminal consequences including jail time. If a nonpaying parent moves out of the State of Illinois, he or she is still responsible for paying court-order child support according to The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.
Contact a Wheaton Child Support Lawyer
If your child’s other parent is not paying child support, contact Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC to get the help you need. Call our office today at 630-665-7300 and schedule a confidential consultation with a skilled DuPage County family law attorney.