Child support is designed, in part, to help children with unmarried or divorced parents to enjoy the same quality of life that they would have if their parents were married. Once issued, child support orders are not optional. If a parent fails to pay court-ordered child support, he or she can face serious punitive consequences. Child support orders in Illinois are customarily enforced through state courts, but they can also be enforced by federal law. If your child’s other parent has been ordered to pay child support and is not making payments, read on to learn about your options.
Consequences of Child Support Nonpayment
If a parent fails to pay child support, Illinois courts can garnish his or her wages, intercept tax returns, impose steep fines, place a lien against property, require the parent to perform community service, and, in some cases, even send the parent to jail. Parents who deliberately fail to pay more than six months’ or $10,000 worth of payments can also face criminal consequences. If you are a parent who cannot afford your current child support order, never simply stop payments. Instead, seek a child support order modification through the county court.
How to Collect Child Support from a Non-Paying Parent
If you are not receiving child support as you are supposed to, there are a few steps you will need to take to enforce the child support order. First, contact your local child support agency. If you live in the same county as the other parent, you can contact the Illinois Department of Child Support Services for help enforcing a child support order. If you need assistance in enforcing an order in another county or state, you may need to contact the State’s Attorney or Office of the Attorney General....