Child support can be difficult to negotiate for parents who are no longer in a relationship. Even after a child support plan is put in place, the parent who is responsible for paying child support may purposely or accidentally halt payments. Regardless of the reason for stopping child support payments, the receiving parent and child(ren) are put in a difficult situation when they cannot get the financial support they need. If the paying parent has stopped making payments, you have options to get the child support you need.
Work Directly With the Paying Parent
Try to work things out with the delinquent co-parent. Do not seek to withhold parenting time from the spouse who is delinquent on payments, or otherwise seek revenge. Even if there is an enforceable court order, co-parents may be able to work something out together. If it does come to a court battle, do not jeopardize your case by neglecting your responsibilities under the child visitation order.
Work with the Illinois Division of Child Support Services (DCSS)
You may also notify the Illinois Division of Child Support Services (DCSS). After you notify DCSS of the delinquent payments, DCSS will begin to oversee the situation and verify that the payments are late. Be aware that before DCSS can take any action regarding the delinquent child support, they are obligated to notify the non-compliant parent and warn them about the consequences of nonpayment.
Working with DCSS is free, but it can be a slow process, as they are often overworked and understaffed. Be prepared to spend some time waiting, and have supporting documents ready when DCSS asks for them.
Once DCSS has notified the paying parents that adverse action may be taken against them, they have numerous options for recovering child support, including:
Diverting income tax refunds, if more than $500 is owed
Seizing other payments, like lottery or gambling winnings
Seizing funds from the paying parent’s bank accounts
Placing liens on any property owned by the paying parent
Involving collection agencies to recover the delinquent funds
Suspending the paying parent’s driver’s license, professional licenses, or recreational licenses.
Publishing the parent’s name and photo and delinquent child support amount on their DCSS Delinquent Parents’ Website.
Hire a Family Law Attorney
Alternatively, you could hire an attorney with experience in navigating unpaid child support to help you petition for enforcement of the order in court. Illinois courts use many of the same enforcement strategies as DCSS, and your attorney can also ask the court to hold the paying parent in contempt for violating the child support order. If the parent still fails to pay, he or she can face serious legal consequences–including fines, a Class A misdemeanor charge, or even prison time.
Contact a Kane County, Illinois Child Support Lawyer Today
Regardless of the reason a parent falls behind on child support, there are options available to recover this support so that children do not suffer as a consequence. At Goostree Law Group, our St. Charles, IL family law attorneys can help you recover unpaid child support so you can focus on caring for your child. For a free and confidential consultation, contact us today at 630-584-4800.