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March 22, 2016

Enforcing Child Support Obligations

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Enforcing Child Support Obligations

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In most situations where two parents share a child but are not married and do not live together, both parents have a duty to provide financial support of their child. However, the parent with whom the child does not primarily live often must provide financial support for the child through child support payments. But some parents who have a child support obligation might get behind on their payments and go into arrears, meaning they owe past-due child support payments.

Late child support payments can put a financial burden on the recipient parent, especially if the recipient parent depends on that child support to make ends meet for the child. When child support is late, a recipient parent can seek help enforcing their child support order from the court, either by going through the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services’ Division of Child Support Services or by hiring a private child support lawyer.

How Does The Division of Child Support Services Enforce Child Support Orders?

If you owe child support, be prepared because the Division of Child Support Services is coming for those payments! Although this may take a while because the state-run agency Division of Child Support Services has a backlog of claims, the agency will eventually seek payment.

The Division of Child Support Services utilizes a number of techniques to obtain payment from the parent late on his or her child support obligations. The Division of Child Support Services may employ the following techniques:

  • Implement wage garnishment so that the child support obligation is automatically deducted from the paying parent’s paycheck;
  • Seek to have certain federal benefits withheld from the paying parent;
  • Intercept the paying parent’s state and federal tax returns in an effort to recover the child support obligation;
  • Hire a private collection agency to recuperate the child support obligation from the paying parent;
  • Transfer the case to the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, which will work to recover the child support obligation from the paying parent;
  • Charge interest on any overdue child support obligation;
  • Initiate contempt of court proceedings against the paying parent for violating their child support court order; and
  • Assert a lien on any real property (land, home, etc.) or personal property (such as a car or boat) owned by the paying parent.

In addition, a private child support attorney can pursue these courses of recovery and may recover the child support obligation more quickly than the Division of Child Support Services.

If you are overdue on your child support payments, taking the steps to pay down or pay off your arrearages is vital to prevent either the Division of Child Support Services or a private attorney from taking enforcement action against you.

Get Help from an Experienced Family Attorney

The team of family attorneys at the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group advocate for many parents seeking to enforce their child support orders and to receive the agreed child support obligation. If you need assistance with recovering overdue child support, we can help. Please call us at (312) 445-8830 to schedule your legal consultation.

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