• Locations
    • Chicago Office 77 W. Wacker Drive, 45th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601
    • Lake Forest Office 100 Saunders Rd., Suite 150 Lake Forest, IL 60045
    • Lisle Office 3333 Warrenville Rd.,Suite 200 Lisle, IL 60532

How to Get Child Support From a Parent Who Refuses to Work

child support with money representing how our Chicago child support lawyers can help you with your child support case

Parents have a legal obligation to provide for their children. Unfortunately, when couples break up or go through a divorce, the financial support of children from the relationship is often one of the areas that suffer the most. In an effort to shirk their responsibilities, some non-paying parents will even quit their jobs or only take employment that pays ‘off the books.’ While this does create a challenge, there are legal ways you can still enforce and collect child support in Illinois

Obtaining a Child Support Order When the Other Parent is Unemployed

Under the Illinois Statutes (750 ILCS 5/505), parents are required to financially support their children up to the age of 18, or up to 19 if they are still in high school. This support can help offset their daily living expenses while providing for the extra items they need to thrive. If you are living apart from the other parent and have primary custody of your child, the best way to protect yourself and them is by getting a child support order through the courts. 

In determining the amount of child support that should be paid, the court will consider the following: 

  • The amount of income each parent has;
  • The amount of time the child spends in each parent’s home;
  • The child expenses and any special needs. 

If one of the parents does not hold a job, they can still be required to pay child support. The court may impute income, which is an amount based on their education or skill level and any prior employment and earnings they received. 

Enforcing Child Support With a Non-Working Spouse

One of the advantages of obtaining court-ordered child support is that it allows you to enforce payments through the court. If the other parent is late or misses a payment completely, they can face contempt of court charges, which involve fines and a potential jail sentence. 

The Illinois Department of Health and Family Services (HFS) advises that a court order for child support can also be used to garnish the non-paying parent’s wages. In the event they quit a job or attempt to work under the under, there are other options for collecting the money you are owed: 

  • Seizure of funds in bank accounts; 
  • Liens on personal property, such as their car;
  • Garnishment of unemployment, Veteran’s Administration, and other benefits;
  • Seizure of federal tax refunds and state lottery winnings. 

Get Our Chicago Child Support Attorneys on Your Side

At the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group, we are dedicated to getting parents the support they are entitled to. To discuss your options, contact our Chicago area child support attorneys and request a consultation. 

There are many factors to consider when contemplating divorce, and a pre-divorce planning session can help you begin to plan for a divorce. Please contact the professionals at the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group by calling (312) 585-6604 or clicking here to schedule a consultation.


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Contact Information

Downtown Chicago/Loop Office
Lake Forest Office
Lisle Office
Lake Forest Office

100 Saunders Rd.
Suite 150

Lake Forest, IL 60045

Lisle Office

3333 Warrenville Rd.
Suite 200

Lisle, IL 60532

Downtown Chicago/Loop Office

77 W. Wacker Drive
45th Floor

Chicago, IL 60601

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