How to Enforce Child Support Orders and Collect Past-Due Payments

DuPage County, IL child support recovery lawyerIn many family law cases, child support is a crucial issue. Both parents have financial obligations and will be required to contribute to the basic needs and expenses of raising their child. One parent will typically be required to make payments to the other, and when these payments are not made on time or in full, the child's quality of life can be significantly affected. 

Fortunately, there are several legal avenues that a parent can explore to enforce child support orders and collect past-due payments. An experienced attorney can help determine the best ways to address these situations and can provide representation during legal proceedings while working to ensure that the child’s best interests will be protected.

Understanding Child Support Enforcement in Illinois

A variety of legal measures may be taken to ensure that a parent pays child support. A parent who is owed child support may have a number of options for collecting the past-due support and ensuring that payments will be made in the future. These include:

  • Income withholding: This is the most common method of collecting child support. An order may be issued to the parent’s employer requiring them to automatically take out a certain amount from the parent's paycheck. This amount may include current child support payments, as well as payments for any past-due child support.
  • Bank garnishment: The court can issue an order to take money from a parent's bank accounts. This may be an option if a parent has funds available and is refusing to pay what is owed.
  • Liens: A lien can be placed on the non-custodial parent’s property, such as their home or other valuable assets. This can provide security for the parent who receives child support, ensuring that the debt will be satisfied if the property is sold.
  • Tax refund interception: State and federal tax refunds can be intercepted to cover unpaid child support.
  • Seizing property: The court may order a parent to turn over certain assets, which can be sold in order to pay past-due child support.

Additional Penalties for Failure to Pay Child Support

While a parent who owes child support will be required to pay all past-due amounts, he may face other penalties as well, including:

  • Driver's license suspension: The court may choose to take away a parent’s driving privileges until he takes steps to meet child support obligations and pay the amount owed.
  • Passport denial: Failure to pay child support may cause a person’s passport application or renewal to be denied.
  • Occupational license suspension: A person who holds a professional license may face disciplinary action, and if his license is suspended, he will no longer be able to work in his profession.
  • Contempt of court: Willfully failing to pay child support may cause the court to hold a parent in contempt. This could result in penalties such as being placed on probation or even being required to serve jail time for up to six months. During time in prison, he may be released regularly in order to work, and some or all of his earnings may be used to pay the child support he owes.
  • Criminal charges: Repeated, serious violations of child support obligations may lead to a person being charged with the offense of failure to support. These charges will generally apply in situations where a person has failed to pay child support for at least six months or owes more than $5,000. This offense is a Class A misdemeanor, which could result in a prison sentence of up to one year.

Contact Our Wheaton, IL Child Support Enforcement Attorneys

To ensure that your children receive the support they deserve, you may need to learn how to enforce child support orders and collect the money owed to you. At Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC., our DuPage County, IL child support attorneys can help you understand your rights and your options for enforcement. Contact us at 630-665-7300 to learn how we can help you receive the financial support your children need.

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From our law office in Wheaton, IL the family law and civil litigation law attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick and Mirabella, represent businesses and individual clients throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois including Wheaton, Naperville, Oak Brook, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Lombard, Downers Grove, Burr Ridge, Lisle, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Winfield, Woodridge, Warrenville and throughout DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties.

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In honor of the passing of our founder, Joseph F. Mirabella, Jr., our offices are closed Friday, January 31, 2020.I Agree