Enforcing Illinois Child Support Obligations
During a divorce proceeding, a child support obligation is often a critical area of consideration. When divorcing parties have a minor child, a determination regarding child support must be made. The court will usually set the amount of child support according to guidelines that are codified under Illinois law. In certain circumstances, however, the court will consider other factors and deviate from the guidelines when making the determination of how much child support should be ordered. Additionally, the court can order either or both parents to provide for certain other expenses, such as healthcare or education.
However, even though a support obligation is ordered by the court, it does not mean that the obligation will always be followed. For custodial parents faced with an uncooperative non-custodial parent, there are several ways in which a support obligation may be enforced.
Methods of Enforcement
A failure to pay the ordered support is known as child support delinquency. One way to resolve this issue is to provide the employer of the person not paying with an Income Withholding Notice for Support. This notice directs an employer to take money out of a person's paycheck and send it to the Illinois State Disbursement Unit, which will provide the money to the custodial parent.
In addition to the penalties for contempt of court, the court may also order that a parent not paying child support:
- Be placed on probation under conditions which the court finds advisable; or
- Be sentenced to periodic imprisonment for up to six months.
If a parent is ordered to spend time in jail, the court may permit him or her to leave in order to work or to conduct a business or other self-employed occupation. In addition, the court can order any part or all of the earnings of the parent during the jail sentence to be paid to the Clerk of the Circuit Court or to the parent or guardian who has custody for the support of the child or children.
In the event that a parent found to be in contempt conducts a business or is self-employed, the court can order that parent to do the following:
- Provide the court with monthly financial statements showing income and expenses from the self-employment or business;
- Seek employment and report periodically to court regarding search efforts; or
- Report to the Department of Employment Security for job search services to find employment that will be subject to withholding for child support.
Helping Enforcing Support Obligations
Obtaining an order for, and receiving, child support payments is often crucial to the well-being of your child. It can provide the necessary resources to help best prepare your child for future success. If you have questions related to your Illinois child support obligation, please reach out to the skilled Illinois family law attorneys at MKFM Law. We have the experience and knowledge to help you with any child support issue. Call 630-665-7300 today.