The State of Illinois takes the payment of child support seriously. If your ex-spouse has stopped making child support payments, there are a variety of tools to encourage parents to comply with court orders so that children get the support they need.
Child Support Wage Garnishment
If the obligor of child support gets behind on child support payments, the obligor’s employer can be served with an Income Withholding for Support directing them to deduct payments for child support payments and arrears.
Liens on Residential or Business Property for Unpaid Child Support
Parents who do not pay court ordered child support may be subject to enforcement measures including a lien on residential or business property for the amount of unpaid child support. A lien not only informs others that money is owed making it difficult to secure credit, but the property owner will not be able to transfer (profit from) his or her property until the lien is paid in full.
Bank Account Garnishment Past Due Child Support
If an obligor does not pay child support, the state can seize aka levy their bank account to pay the child support.
Claims Against Tax Returns and Other Federal Payments
If the state reports overdue child support to the Treasury Department, an obligor can say goodbye to their tax refund – the IRS can and will take refunds to cover child support arrears. Not only that, under the federal stimulus bill, the CARES Act, Congress did not exempt the stimulus rebate payments from federal offsets for child support arrears, so “that check” may not be in the mail after all.
Driver’s License Revocation for Unpaid Child Support
Driving is a privilege that can be denied if an obligor gets behind on child support. Illinois can revoke the driving privileges of parents who get behind on child support which can bring life to a grinding halt. Obligors will need to secure a limited permit to find employment or get to and from work in order to catch up.
Revoking or Suspending a Professional License
The state may also suspend or revoke a professional license making it impossible to legally perform a job. Failure to pay child support can result in the suspension of a medical, teaching, building contractor licenses and more.
Denial of Passports
Planning a vacation abroad? Not so fast if past child support is owed. The Passport Denial Program is yet another tool in the states toolbox to collect past due support from delinquent parents who want to travel outside of the U.S. for vacation, work, or other reasons.
Public Shaming ala Illinois’s “Deadbeat Parent” Website
Believe it or not, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Division of Child Support Enforcement, not only maintains a website featuring the images, names and amounts owed by so called deadbeat parents, they also have a Facebook page entitled “Deadbeat Dads and Moms of Illinois” which encourages recipient parents to post pictures of parents who have fallen behind, what they owe in past due child support, and how many kids (and their ages) who are not receiving support they need.
Civil Contempt of Court Proceedings
A parent who fails to pay court ordered child support may be found in contempt of court, resulting in a trip back to court with all the fees, fines and increased scrutiny that come with it.
Prosecution of a Crime
Depending on the circumstances, it is also possible for a parent who fails to pay child support to be convicted of a Class A misdemeanor or even a felony at the state or federal level, punishable by incarceration and a hefty fine.
Contact an Illinois Child Support Lawyer
If you are not receiving court ordered child support, it can put you and your family in a precarious situation. Too many children go without proper nourishment, clothing, shelter and other needs when a parent refuses to take responsibility. Fortunately, there are a number of actions you can take to get child support back on track. If you need help with a family law issue, contact the Lake county child support lawyers of Schlesinger & Strauss LLC for immediate assistance at 847-680-4970.