In Illinois, parents are legally required to provide financial support for their children until they turn 18 or graduate from high school, whichever comes later. When parents are no longer in a romantic relationship, even the smallest of child support issues can lead to major conflict. There are many reasons why a parent may be behind on child support payments, but when they miss payments purposefully, there are certain things the other parent can do to try to recover the missing amount.
Notification of Delinquency
One option when the other parent is not paying support is to notify the Illinois Division of Child Support Services (DCSS). After receiving notice, the DCSS will begin to monitor the paying parent’s account. Before any actions can be taken, however, the DCSS must first notify the non-compliant parent of the delinquent status of their account and the resulting actions the Division may take. This allows the non-compliant parent a chance to explain why their payments are overdue and to confirm whether the amount due is correct.
Potential Remedies for Late Child Support Payments
If the paying parent is subsequently notified that DCSS action is going to be taken against them, DCSS can use several methods of recovering support for unpaid obligations, including:
Intercepting federal and/or state income tax refunds if the parent owes more than $500
Intercepting other state payments, such as lottery winnings
Intercepting casino or racetrack gambling winnings
Placing liens on property
Seizing the parent’s bank accounts
Submitting the delinquency to collections agencies
Requesting the denial or revocation of the parent’s professional, occupational or recreational licenses
Requesting that the parent’s driver’s license be suspended
Publishing the parent’s name, photo and past due child support amount on the DCSS Delinquent Parents Website.
Enforcing Child Support Through the Court
Another option for collecting child support involves asking the court to hold your child’s other parent in contempt of their child support order. If you choose to go this route, hiring a child support enforcement attorney can be greatly beneficial throughout the process. A child support order is legally enforceable, meaning a parent can face penalties if they do not abide by its terms, including fines, court costs, and even imprisonment.
If the judge finds that your child’s other parent willfully withheld the support payments, they can charge them with a Class A misdemeanor, or even a Class 4 felony, depending on the details surrounding the case. This means the other parent could face jail time and expensive fines, on top of the delinquent support owed. Your attorney can also ask for the other parent’s wages to be garnished, or for other remedies similar to those available through DCSS.
Contact an Oak Park, IL Child Support Lawyer Today
Sometimes the circumstances that cause a parent to fall behind on child support payments can be outside of their control. However, if a parent has the means to pay support and they choose not to, they can face various legal consequences. At the Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C., we can help you if you have had difficulty recovering unpaid child support from the other parent, or if you are facing any penalties for unpaid child support. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your options with a Hillside, IL child support attorney, call our office today at 708-449-7404.