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Child support is a legally required payment made by a parent for the financial support of his or her child. Under Illinois law, both parents are required to provide financial support for the child’s well being. Usually, the non-custodial parent, the parent who does not live with the child, pays the custodial parent child support. Unfortunately, sometimes a parent disregards a court order and fails to pay child support. If your child’s other parent has ceased making support payments, an experienced family law attorney in DuPage County can advise you on your options.
Enforcing Child Support Orders
When a non-custodial parents fails to make their child support payments, the other parent can ask the court to enforce the support order. The custodial parent can formally petition the court to basically force payment from the non-custodial parent. This is different than filing for child support. You can only ask the court to force support payments after a judge has granted a child support order. According to the Illinois Attorney General, approximately $289 million in child support was collected by the state in 2013. Some of these payments were made after a court enforced a child support. Illinois courts have multiple ways to enforce these orders; one way is to garnish the non-custodial parent’s wages.
What Is Wage Garnishment?
You may be familiar with wage garnishment as a way for debt collectors to receive payments from a person’s employment check. Wage garnishment essentially means the same in child support enforcement cases. However, wage garnishment orders for child support matters are not limited to a parent’s employment income. A court can order garnishment of that person’s unemployment compensation, veteran’s benefits, disability benefits, and other forms of income.
Once the custodial parent shows the court that the non-custodial parent is delinquent, or behind, on their child support payments, a judge can issue a wage garnishment order. Such an order will require an employer to withhold a certain amount from that parent’s paycheck. If the garnishment is not for an employment check, but rather another type of income, the order will be sent to the appropriate agency or institution. Federal law limits the amount of income that can be garnished. If the parent is supporting another spouse or child, 50 percent of his or her disposable income may be garnished. If the parent is not support another spouse or child, this percentage increases to 60.
Contact an Experienced DuPage Family Lawyer
At Martoccio & Martoccio, our attorneys understand how difficult it is when your child’s other parent does not make child support payments. Such payment failure can jeopardize your financial ability to provide for your child. This is why the law allows for wage garnishment in some child support cases. To learn more, contact our experienced DuPage County family law attorneys. We will answer your questions and address your concerns in a free initial consultation. Contact us now; same-day appointments are available today.