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Enforcing Illinois support orders if a payer crosses state lines

Non-custodial parents in Lake County, Illinois, may be aware that refusal to pay child support is illegal in every state. Payers in arrears may be subject to federal prosecution if payment has not been made for more than one year or the amount owed exceeds $5,000. Defaulters may be fined or serve time in jail for six months. Default status of more than two years and $10,000 owed is considered a criminal misdemeanor and the defaulter may be fined and serve a jail term of two years.

Under federal law, defaulters cannot relocate to another state or flee the country to evade payment. Offenders who move to another state or flee the country may garner a jail term as long as two years. All issues regarding child support should be reported to state and local authorities. For the most part, child support matters are handled by the state and only in certain circumstances is federal intervention sought.

The Child Support Recovery Act of 1992 provides for prosecution of child support defaulters. The subsequent Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act re-enforces the right to recover back child support from defaulters. However, if the non-custodial parent is unable to pay child support due to a valid reason, such as change in job status or earning capacity, the support order may be eligible for modification. A modification can be requested once every three years and is subject to a review by the court. Child support modification may also be sought if the child's needs increase.

To enforce a child support order, the custodial parent should contact the local child support agency and provide a copy of the original child support order. Before requesting prosecution of the accused, this agency may use other methods available to collect support. An attorney may be consulted for understanding the process better and finding the best possible solution.

Source: Justice.gov, "Child Support Enforcement," Accessed April 29, 2015

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