The legal concepts that apply to many aspects of your life are constantly evolving to accommodate changing times. The same is true for Illinois’ statute on child support. The basic duty to support has not been altered significantly, so both parents are still obligated to provide for their children. The amount runs according to statutory child support guidelines, which consider:
- Each parent’s income.
- The number of children to be supported.
- How many overnights the child spends with the non-residential parent
- Many other factors. A judge can deviate from the statutory formula under appropriate circumstances, allowing for some flexibility.
However, beyond defining the fundamentals, Illinois child support laws have undergone some modifications over the years. Whether you are paying or receiving, the changes could impact your life significantly. It is wise to consult with a child support lawyer in Chicago to learn the specifics of your case.
Child Support Enforcement in Chicago
Some of the most significant changes to the Illinois law deal with enforcement of child support obligations through the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS), an agency under the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS). DCSS is charged with helping parents obtain the financial resources their children are entitled to by law, such as by locating a non-paying parent, assisting with paternity actions, collecting payments, and other tasks. The primary changes that may affect your interests include:
- Driver’s License Suspension: Under a previous version of the Illinois child support law, the Secretary of State could suspend the driving privileges of someone who becomes delinquent with payments. The suspension would remain in place until the parent fully paid all past due amounts, but the revisions allow for leniency. Officials can reinstate the individual’s driver’s license once satisfactory progress is made toward arrearages.
- Expanded Options for Collecting Interest: DCSS is empowered to collect interest on past due child support payments, and child support laws allow for additional options to do so. Previously, DCSS could only obtain accrued interest according to state law. The changes to the law allow officials to use any means available under federal or state law for interest enforcement. Options might include diverting income tax returns or attaching certain public benefits.
- Title IV-D Cases: When DCSS assists a parent in locating the obligor or other enforcement efforts, the matter is considered a Title IV-D case. With the revisions to Illinois’ child support laws, the agency has the discretion to determine if and how to engage in interest enforcement. Prior to the change, enforcing interest was mandatory.
Trust a Child Support Lawyer in Chicago to Assist with Your Case
Illinois child support laws are always complicated and constantly changing, so retaining an experienced attorney is critical. For more information, please call Michael C. Craven, a Chicago child support attorney at (312) 621-5234 or visit online to set up a consultation at our offices in Chicago, IL. After reviewing your circumstances, Michael C. Craven can explain how child support developments may affect your rights as a parent.