Unpaid child support in the U.S. has climbed into the billions and many states are struggling to collect it when parents have all but given up on paying when faced with accumulating child support debt.
Not long ago, Maryland started a program to get so called ‘deadbeat parents’ back on track by offering a 10 percent forgiveness in child support debt in exchange for completing a month-long employment training course and landing a job. Another 15 percent would be waived if dads signed onto a responsible fatherhood program – the first customer, it turns out, was a mom. In a separate debt compromise program the state sweetened the pot, offering to also write of 50 percent of a parent’s child support debt if they maintained monthly payments for a year – all this in hopes of getting parents back on track and reuniting families.
Although the response to the program was slow, it did shed a light on the problem of the cumbersome process of adjusting an order when a parent loses a job. Some parents who participated in the program, many of whom were presumably young fathers or mothers when they had a child, failed to report a job loss or income change because they didn’t understand their responsibility to do so and the consequences that would follow i.e., snowballing child support debt with interest. The message many delinquent parents wished they had appreciated earlier was to report employment changes immediately to avoid racking up seemingly insurmountable child support debt.
Past Due Child Support Relief
Of course, accumulating child support debt is a problem in every state of the nation, with different strategies being implemented to help parents get back on track. Illinois’ Clean Slate Program – A Child Support Reduction Program – offers to permanently remove past due child support owed to the state in exchange for regular ordered payments and the completion of the program. To be considered, applicants must show that they were either unemployed, seriously ill or incarcerated during the period the state provided assistance and that they now have an ability to pay child support, which many who have since moved into advanced adulthood may now be able to afford. This does not remove the obligation to pay back child support owed the custodial parent before the state stepped in, but the reduction in what is owed could be considerable giving parents an opportunity to get a fresh start.
Illinois Child Support Modification Attorneys
Everyone faces a difficult financial situation at one point or another. If you have been ordered to pay Illinois child support and have had a change in financial circumstances, contact an experienced family law attorney to explore a modification to the child support order. Remember that the order remains in effect as is until you take the necessary steps to reduce your obligation so do not wait. If you are the recipient of child support and are not receiving regular payments, we can help you to secure the child support you need to provide for your family. Many situations involving child support, parenting time arrangements, spousal support and other family law issues can be addressed more quickly and thoroughly with a legal advocate by your side. Contact the Lake county Illinois child support attorneys of Schlesinger & Strauss LLC for immediate assistance today.