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Enforcing a child support order is not always a simple process. Generally, if a non-custodial parent is not paying any required child support, the custodial spouse may go to court in an effort to enforce such payments.
There are a few conditions that usually need to be met in order for enforcement measures to work:
The court must have in fact ordered the non-custodial parent to pay child support;
The non-custodial parent must have failed to pay either a portion or all of the ordered child support;
The non-custodial parent must have a steady source of income, which can be used to pay child support; and
The parent trying to enforce the order must know the delinquent amount that is required to be paid.
How Do You Find Out How Much of Your Child Support is Delinquent?
The delinquent amount is the total amount of the unpaid child support. If you are uncertain as to the delinquent amount, the Illinois State Disbursement Unit can provide you with information. The Illinois State Department Unit is a payment processing center, which both receives and distributes payments of child support, and can provide a parent with a list of all child payments that have been made, are still owed, or are delinquent.
Methods of Collecting Child Support
Under Illinois law, there are both civil remedies that can be utilized, and criminal penalties that can be imposed, in order to enforce child support obligations.
As for civil remedies, a parent can file suit against a parent that is supposed to be paying child support. If the plaintiff parent wins, then the judgment ordered may provide the following:
Interest must be paid on the all child support that is owed; and
Wage garnishments or automatic withholding may be required.
As for criminal penalties, a parent becomes eligible to pursue criminal penalties if they have not received child support payments for more than six months or if the delinquent debt exceeds $5,000. Criminal penalties have more severe and long term effects as they can lead one to being charged with a misdemeanor or even a felony.
Automatic WithholdingOne of the most effective ways a court can ensure that child support orders are paid is by requiring the non-custodial parent to pay such support directly from their check. In such instances, the custodial parent must serve the non-custodial parent's employer with a Notice to Withhold Income for Support. This notice specifically directs the non-custodial parent’s employer to take the child support payment out of the non-custodial parent’s paycheck, and requires them to forward the money directly to the Illinois State Disbursement Unit.
Contact an Illinois Attorney to Assist YouIf you are trying to enforce an existing child support order, seek the assistance of experienced and respectable attorneys in the community. Schedule a free consultation with the experienced Hinsdale family law attorneys at Martoccio & Martoccio. Our attorneys are willing and able to discuss any legal matter surrounding your child support order.