Many saw the story break last year about a California woman who was awarded child support 50 years after her ex-husband hightailed it to Canada, leaving her to raise their 3 year old without the benefit of financial support.
Fifty years later, realizing California did not have a statute of limitations on child support payments, the now 74-year-old successfully sued her ex for over $150,000 in back child support, interest and attorney’s fees.
After struggling to raise a daughter as a single parent on one income – sometimes missing important milestones while holding down two jobs – her message to other single parents is “it’s never too late to collect child support – know your rights”.
The term “statute of limitations” defines the time period that parties can initiate legal proceedings and some states do have a statute of limitations on collecting child support arrears. But, like California law, Illinois does not have a statute of limitations on filing a lawsuit for collection of child support owed by the obligor. Not only will an obligor continue to owe court ordered payments, but will be assessed interest on past due amounts – a potential windfall for a single parent years or even decades later.
Even in cases where an obligor loses their job and stops making payments, they are still on the hook for child support arrears unless they went to court to modify the child support order. Any thoughts of moving out of the state or the country to evade child support collections, not only ignores the “long arm of the law” but the fact that there is no statute of limitations in many states across the U.S..
Of course, if your ex is not paying court ordered child support, there are a number of remedies that do not involve waiting decades to get relief. Not making support payments can result in a parent being found in contempt of court, collection of tax refunds, liens on property, wage garnishment, denial of a passport, etc., and can result in the revocation of a professional or driver’s license. No matter what issue you have with unpaid child support, we will resolve it as quickly as possible, contact the Libertyville family law office of Schlesinger & Strauss LLC for help at 847-680-4970.