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What Are the Consequences for Not Paying Child Support?Child support payments are mandatory for parents who are divorced or separated from each other. Unlike with the optional spousal maintenance payments, child support is meant to help pay for the expenses related to raising the children, such as food, clothing, and healthcare. A parent who does not pay their share of child support may be depriving their children of the resources needed to grow up healthy and safe. Because of this, Illinois has a range of severe consequences for parents who do not comply with their child support order:

  1. Garnishment: If a parent does not pay child support, a court may order that the noncompliant parent’s financial assets be seized. The most common method is wage garnishment, which can be achieved by filing an Income Withholding for Support request with the parent’s employer. If wage garnishment is not an option, the court may seize funds from a bank account, intercept property tax refunds, put a lien on a property, or hire a private collection agency.
  2. Driver’s License Suspension: When a parent is more than 90 days past due on child support payments, the court may revoke the parent’s driving privileges until they have caught up on payments. It also has the authority to revoke or deny an application for a U.S. passport or professional license.
  3. Criminal Prosecution: Nonpayment of child support becomes a criminal offense in Illinois if a parent has gone more than six months without paying or owes more than $5,000. This is a Class A misdemeanor and will most likely result in a fine. However, the offense becomes a Class 4 felony if the parent flees the state to avoid payment, is more than one year late on payments, or owes more than $20,000. A Class 4 felony in Illinois is punishable by one-to-three years in prison and fines.

Contact a McHenry County Family Law Attorney

If your co-parent is not paying child support, you can enforce payment by contacting the Illinois Division of Child Support Services or filing a complaint in court. If you are in danger of falling behind on child support payments, you need to explain to the court why you are unable to make the payments. You may be able to modify your child support order if the payments are unreasonable given your financial circumstances. Either way, you need the assistance of a Crystal Lake, Illinois, family law lawyer at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, to resolve your child support issue. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

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Posted on in Divorce

wage garnishment for child support, Crystal Lake Family Law AttorneysWhen a court orders a parent to pay child support, there is no guarantee that the child support will ever be paid. In some cases, this is because the parent who owes the child support cannot legitimately make payments due to his or here financial circumstances. However, in other cases it is because the parent chooses not to make payments. When child support is not paid, parents who are supposed to receive child support can try to seek the money through garnishment.

Illinois law allows a person's wages to be garnished to satisfy a child support order when the person falls behind in payments. Upon failure to make payments, the parent who is supposed to be receiving payments can send a Notice to Withhold Income for Support to the delinquent parent's employer asking the employer to withhold the amount owed directly from his or her paycheck.

Once the employer makes the necessary withholdings, the money is sent to the State Disbursement Unit and forwarded to the parent who is owed support. If the employer does not send the withheld funds to the disbursement unit in a timely manner, the employer may be subject to fines for each day's delay.

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