Every child under the age of 18 has a right and need to be financially supported by both parents if the parents are alive, regardless of their personal financial situation. Even the unemployed and those collecting disability benefits are legally required to pay child support. Receiving financial support from both parents is designed to provide the child with the absolute best foundation to grow up on. Despite the well-intended nature of child support statutes, it is not always so easily collected. That is why it is crucial to understand the ins and outs of Illinois child support enforcement.
In an ideal scenario, the non-residential parent would willingly and honestly pay the residential parent 20% of his or her net income each month. He or she would also be vigilant in notifying the other party of any pay increases or decreases. In the event of an increase the non-residential parent would voluntarily pay an increased amount without court intervention. Similarly, with a pay decrease, he or she would make the best faith effort to keep child support payments consistent in the amount and date sent and would otherwise make arrangements to retro pay.
Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world where people always strive to do what is right to benefit their child or children. Illinois child support enforcement was created to assist in bringing financial relief to the residential parent and enforce regulations to the non-abiding party. Depending upon what county you live in, child support enforcement is either handled through the Attorney General’s Office or the State’s Attorney’s Office. Cook, DuPage, DeKalb, Kane and Lake Counties are all handled by the State’s Attorney’s Office. If you have any questions as to what jurisdiction your county falls under seek the assistance of a family law attorney.
Ways Illinois Child Support Enforcement can work for YOU
The Illinois State Disbursement Unit (ILSDU) is the state processing center for ALL Illinois child support payments. The ILSDU issues checks or direct deposits to the parent receiving the child support payments by automatically taking it from the non-custodial parent’s account each month. The accounts are most commonly paychecks for W2 employees or checking accounts for small business owners. Since the money is automatically taken out before the non-custodial parent receives his or her paycheck, there is no discrepancy in the amount or late payments.
Similarly, even parents collecting unemployment or disability benefits are still required to pay the amount of child support established in the order even if their income has decreased due to an unfortunate circumstance. Filing unemployment or disability does NOT grant one the authority to make his or her own modifications as to child support. In order to modify the order or judgment, one must present their case in front of a judge, at which point the judge can decide whether to increase or decrease that parent’s child support obligation.
Lastly, The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Division of Child Support Enforcement has the statutory authority to disclose information about parents who owe $5,000 or more in past-due child support accumulated under an Illinois court or an administrative support order pursuant to Section 12-12.1 of the Illinois Public Aid Code (305 ILCS 5/12-12.1). Don’t end up on this list. Paying child support payments on time and in the correct amount is the best way to avoid any of the issues discussed in this article.