The Penalties That Can Be Assessed for Failure to Pay Child Support

Court orders regarding the payment of child support are taken very seriously by the state of Illinois. These payments are based on the contention that every parent is responsible for the financial support of his or her child until that child reaches the age of majority or finishes high school. Without child support, a single parent can have significant financial difficulties in providing for even the most basic needs for a child, such as shelter, food, clothing, medical attention, and more. Where a parent is struggling with this, child support is paramount and a non-negotiable issue. This is aside from the fact that it is legally mandated by state law.

What happens when a parent fails to pay child support and falls into the “delinquent” or “deadbeat” category? When that takes place, the custodial parent (parent who has custody of the child for the most amount of time) has steps that can be taken to enforce the payment needed to care for the child. This can be done through the courts and with the help of state agencies. Penalties against the delinquent parent can ensue that enforce the payment of child support.

Need legal help enforcing child support payment in Chicago? The Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. can help. Call us at (312) 487-2795 today.

Child Enforcement Penalties in Illinois

If you are not receiving the child support payment ordered by the court, you can go back to the court to get relief. The court then has various measures that can be taken against the delinquent parent.

The measures the court can take as well as penalties can include:

  • The court ordering the delinquent parent to pay or else being told that certain consequences will follow
  • The delinquent parent being found to be in contempt of court when continuing to not pay
  • A court order of wage garnishment in which child support payments are automatically deducted from the delinquent parent’s pay
  • A lien placed on the delinquent parent’s property
  • The delinquent parent’s driver license is suspended
  • The delinquent parent loses his or her passport
  • Criminal prosecution against the delinquent parent leading to fines, attorney fees for the other parent, and potential jail time (as a last resort since it would be difficult to pay child support while incarcerated)
  • Placement on the Illinois government site of “Delinquent Parents” that provides a photograph of the parent, how much is owed, and other details; this applies only to parents owing $5,000 or more in past-due payments

These are serious consequences resulting from a continued lack of support for one’s child. In some cases, a co-parent is unable to pay child support due to a poor financial condition. However, this does not excuse the parent from the obligation. In such a case, the parent should seek a modification of the current child support order. The court can then consider the case and determine if reducing the payment is appropriate.

Need Legal Help with a Chicago Child Support Issue?

If you need assistance in handling a child support issue in the greater Chicago area, the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. offers effective representation. With a decade of experience handling family law issues only, our firm has a firm grasp on the laws, the procedures, and the way courts view all of issues related to family law. To ensure your best interests and the best interests of your children are protected, we recommend that you turn to us. You can discuss your issue and learn your options in a free, initial consultation to get started.

Contact us at (312) 487-2795 today.

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