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What Can I Do If My Co-Parent Refuses to Pay Child Support?

 Posted on May 03,2024 in Child Support

Yorkville Family LawyerWhen a court decides that child support payments are necessary, the judge will issue a child support order. This order is usually served to the non-custodial parent (NCP), who is the parent that does not have the majority of physical custody. The child support order contains details such as:

  • The amount of each payment

  • How often payments must be made

  • A termination date for the child support payments, if applicable

Sometimes an NCP does not make child support payments or stops making payments before the termination date. In either case, the custodial parent can ask the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services, Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) to enforce the order.

This article will discuss how child support orders are enforced in Illinois, but it is best to consult an Illinois attorney regarding any questions about child support enforcement.

How Are Child Support Payments Made?

The child’s NCP can make child support payments in one of the following ways:

  • The state can withhold a portion of the NCP’s income each month.

  • The NCP can set up automatic recurring bank payments.

  • The NCP can use his or her credit or debit card to make payments.

  • The NCP can mail a check.

  • The NCP can physically make the payments at certain retailers authorized to accept them.

If the NCP stops making those payments, the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) will get involved.

What Can the DCSS Do?

If the NCP is behind on his or her payments, the DCSS will send a warning letter called a Notice of Intent to Pursue Collection Remedies. This letter will list the collection efforts that the DCSS may make under the law. These include:

  • Taking state and/or federal tax refunds the NCP might have received, called “tax offsets”

  • Placing a lien, or a hold, on the NCP’s bank account

  • Placing a lien on the NCP’s property

  • Placing a lien on settlement claims

  • Suspending the NCP’s driver license

  • Denying a passport to the NCP or revoking his or her existing passport

  • Suspending the NCP’s professional license

  • Reporting the NCP to credit monitoring agencies

  • Seizing lottery winnings

  • Seizing casino winnings

Can the NCP Go to Jail?

If an NCP is proven to have willfully refused to make payments — meaning he or she knew there was a child support order, had the ability to pay the support, and did not — a court can impose jail time and/or fines. This will depend on certain factors, such as:

  • The length of time that the child support has gone unpaid

  • The amount of child support that has gone unpaid

  • The ability of the NCP to pay it

  • Whether the NCP left the state to evade the order

Depending on the above, the NCP may be guilty of a felony or misdemeanor under Illinois law and can receive jail time and/or fines.

Contact a Batavia, IL Child Support Attorney

The State of Illinois takes non-payment of child support very seriously. If you suspect that a non-custodial parent is refusing to pay child support, contact a Kane County, Illinois child support lawyer. Matthew Williams has extensive legal experience in child support matters and will skillfully guide you through the process. Call the The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. at 630-409-8184 today.

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

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