The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

Yorkville Office By Appointment

Initial Consultations via ZOOM Available

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When you are subject to an order from the court, you are legally required to abide by the rules of that order. If you do not abide by those rules, you could be considered to be in contempt of court. According to Illinois law, contempt of court comes in two forms -- civil contempt and criminal contempt. Both are very similar and could arise from a divorce or child support case in some situations. Both child support and spousal maintenance exist for a reason -- to help pay for each one’s living expenses. It can be frustrating when a spouse does not pay their court-ordered support, especially when you depend on that income to live. If your ex-spouse does not pay their court-ordered child or spousal support, they could be held in criminal contempt and subject to various penalties, the most common of which is wage garnishment.

How Does Wage Garnishment Work?

If your ex-spouse is not complying with the terms of your child support or spousal support order and is behind on payments, you have the right to petition the court to garnish their wages for the unpaid amount. If the court agrees to do this, you must then notify your ex’s employer of the garnishment order, how much should be withheld from each paycheck for current support and past support, the total amount that must be withheld, and any other pertinent information, such as payment requirements for healthcare enrollment. Up to 50 percent of your ex’s net wages can be garnished to satisfy support orders, but in some cases, that amount could be up to 60 percent.

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When a child’s parents are not in a relationship with one another, it is very likely that some form of parenting agreement has been created to lay down the terms of the co-parenting relationship. In many cases, the parenting agreement will also include the terms of child support that the parent with the least amount of parenting time is required to pay to the other parent. However, not all parenting agreements contain information about child support orders. Whatever the reason for the absence of the child support order at the time the parents split, some people may not know that the state of Illinois allows parents to collect retroactive child support in some situations.

Retroactive and Back Child Support

Once entered, child support orders are enforceable by law, meaning you face consequences if you do not obey the order. If a parent does not make the required monthly payments, this means they have become delinquent on their order. They still are required to make the scheduled monthly payments, in addition to making back payments for any support payments they missed.

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Just as the famous saying states, “It takes two to tango,” it takes two people to create a child, so it is only fair that those two people are also responsible for financially providing for that child for the next 18 years. The formula that is used to calculate monthly child support payments takes into account a variety of factors, including both parents’ incomes, how much parenting time each parent has, and whether or not either parent has any other spousal support or child support obligations. Monthly child support payments are typically paid from the person with the smaller share of parenting time to the person with the larger share of parenting time and are used to help pay for basic living expenses in raising the child. However, most divorced or unmarried parents know that typical child support payments do not cover all of the expenses that a child can incur each month. 

Expenses Not Included In Monthly Child Support

In Illinois, the parents of a minor child are required to financially provide for the child and ensure he or she has clothing, food, toys, and everything else needed to be healthy and happy. The monthly child support order helps to partially provide these basic necessities, but there are other expenses above and beyond typical support that should be addressed in your support order and parenting plan. These can include but are not limited to the following:

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Every child has a right to financial support from their parents, no matter if their parents are together or not. In Illinois, child support is awarded when the parents of a child file for a divorce or are no longer in a relationship with one another. Illinois uses what is called an “income shares” model of calculating child support. This means a variety of factors are taken into consideration when a child support determination is being made. These factors include both of the parents’ incomes, how much time the child spends with each parent, and how many children are being supported. Child support obligations usually end once a child turns 18 years old or when he or she graduates from high school, but Illinois law also provides limited guidance for support obligations for adult children with disabilities whose parents are separating.

Establishing Child Support for an Adult With a Disability

For the most part, child support typically stops when the child reaches the age of 18. However, there are a few different types of non-minor support that exist in Illinois, such as requiring a parent to pay for educational expenses for a non-minor or providing support for an adult with a significant disability. In many cases, adults with physical or mental disabilities need financial support from their caretakers, who are often their parents.

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In situations where the parents of a child are divorced or no longer in a relationship, child support orders are often entered to ensure that the financial responsibility of raising a child is not left up to only one parent. In Illinois, child support is typically paid by the parent who has a smaller portion of the parenting time. The amount of child support that is paid each month is determined by a formula that takes into consideration each parents’ income, parenting time, how many children you are supporting, and how much supporting your children should cost.

Paying your child support obligation is extremely important, not only for the well-being of your children but also so you can avoid any repercussions for nonpayment. If you do not make your payment, you could face significant consequences such as driver’s license suspension, wage garnishment, tax refund interception, and more. The state of Illinois offers various options for paying your child support so there is a confirmation that you are in compliance with the order and a record for the payment exists.

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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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