You went through the difficult divorce process and came away with court-ordered terms, including those related to child support. The State of Illinois – like every other state – requires both parents to continue supporting their minor children post-divorce. If your ex is ordered by the court to pay you child support, it means that he or she legally owes you these payments, but it does not mean that obtaining them is necessarily going to be easy. If you aren’t receiving the child support you are owed, look to an experienced Illinois family law attorney for the legal guidance you need.
What You Cannot Do
You are the custodial parent, and you aren’t receiving the child support payments you’re owed by your children’s other parent. This puts you in a difficult bind, and while withholding visitation from the non-paying parent may seem like a good way to ensure that you obtain the child support you’re owed, this is not how it works. Child support and parenting plans are completely separate matters that, in the eyes of the law, do not intersect. Taking matters into your own hands and ceasing visitation will simply leave you with another legal problem (for which you will be the at-fault party).
Child Support Is a Court Order
When your ex doesn’t pay child support, he or she is ignoring a court order, and this means that he or she can be found in contempt of court, which can lead to surprisingly negative consequences, including:
- Jail time of up to six months (generally a last resort since it makes earning money and paying child support more difficult)
Additional Financial Remedies
The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) has other remedies available if your ex refuses to pay child support, including:
- Garnishing your ex’s wages
- Intercepting your ex’s tax refunds
- Seizing your ex’s bank account(s)
- Placing liens on your ex’s property
Child support payments that are more than 30 days overdue accrue interest until the arrears are paid.
A non-financial punishment that can be levied against your ex is a driver’s license suspension. If your ex is more than 90 days late with his or her child support payments, the court can suspend driving privileges – with the possibility of a limited driving permit that allows him or her to get to work and to receive any necessary medical care.
Don’t Wait to Consult with an Experienced Illinois Family Law Attorney
If your ex is not paying the court-ordered child support he or she owes, it puts both you and your children in a very difficult position. The impressive family law attorneys at Andrea Heckman Law in Joliet understand your predicament and are poised to use the full force of their experience and legal insight in pursuit of the child support owed to you. We’re here to help, so please do not wait to contact us today.