What Happens if Someone Does Not Pay Child Support?
Child support helps parents cover child-related costs including housing, education costs, daycare, and much more. In Illinois, child support is considered the child’s right. The court will typically require the parent with less parenting time to pay child support payments to the parent with the majority of the parenting time. This support helps distribute child-related costs between the parents. But what happens if a parent fails to pay child support?
In this blog, we will discuss the consequences of child support nonpayment and what parents should do if they are not receiving child support.
Penalties for Not Making Child Support Payments
It should be noted that Illinois courts only have the authority to enforce formal child support orders. If your child’s other parent had a causal agreement and the other parent has suddenly stopped paying, there is little the court can do to enforce the agreement. You need to have an official child support order through the court or the Illinois Health and Family Services Division of Child Support Services. For some parents, this will require establishing parentage or paternity first.
If a parent fails to pay an official child support order, he or she can face penalties including:
- Wage garnishment
- Asset seizure
- Liens against real estate or other property
- Suspension of a professional license or driver’s license
- Interception of tax refunds
- Criminal prosecution
Criminal charges for failure to pay child support are the last resort. However, Illinois takes child support payment seriously and will pursue criminal prosecution if a parent willfully refuses to make payments.
Enforcing Child Support When a Parent Will Not Pay
The Illinois Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) is the government agency overseeing child support orders. However, any parent seeking to enforce a child support order is encouraged to work with an attorney to take the appropriate action. An attorney can provide personalized advice on how to collect payment and facilitate the process. The DCSS often has a backlog of cases and it is sometimes faster to secure payment through the court system. Your lawyer can evaluate your situation and determine the best course of action for your situation.
Contact our Kane County Child Support Enforcement Lawyers
Raising a child is expensive and parents deserve to have financial support. If your child’s other parent is not making child support payments, contact Shaw Sanders, P.C. for help. Our St. Charles family law attorneys will help you take the next steps. Call 630-584-5550 and set up your free consultation.