Divorced and unmarried parents of minor children in Illinois often rely on their child’s other parent to make timely child support payments. When the parent responsible for making payments falls behind on his or her payments or stops paying altogether, it can leave the receiving parent in a terrible bind. Parents who are desperate to get child support payments back may understandably want to escalate matters but may be reluctant to get a Court involved because they fear the expense and hassle that could ensue.
Unfortunately, parents who stop following the parenting time schedule described in their Court-ordered parenting plan because of unpaid child support can face legal consequences, just as a parent who stops paying child support can. Instead, it is better to follow the law and allow a Court, with the help of an experienced attorney, to take action against someone whose child support payments are in arrears.
Recovering Unpaid Child Support
Child support and parenting time are both contained within the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, but they are two separate statutes that are mostly decided independently of each other. While it is true that child support payments may be increased or decreased depending on the amount of time the paying parent spends with a child in shared parenting time scenarios, stopping one does not justify stopping the other.
Parents who need to recover unpaid child support do have options, however. The state of Illinois takes a parent’s obligation to financially support a child seriously and has consequences in place for parents who renege on this important responsibility. These include, but are not limited to:
- Garnishing wages
- Seizing bank account funds
- Placing liens on private property, such as vehicles and homes
- Intercepting tax refunds
- Suspending driver’s licenses and professional licenses
The longer child support goes unpaid, and the larger the unpaid amount accrues, the more severe the consequences tend to be. Parents who are more than two years behind in child support payments or who owe more than $10,000 can be convicted of a Class 4 felony and sent to jail. Parents may also be required to pay fines and interest to the parent to whom the child support is owed.
Meet with an Experienced Hoffman Estates Child Support Lawyer
Even if your ex has stopped paying child support, it is important to continue following the provisions of your parenting plan so you are in the strongest position possible when asking the Court for relief. Call the Cook County child support attorney with the Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C., to schedule a consultation and learn more about your options for taking action. Call us today at 847.873.6741.