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Enforcing child support orders with a license suspension

When a parent who is ordered to pay child support fails to do so in Illinois, the state has various methods of getting those payments from a parent who is not living up to the support agreement. One of those methods is to move forward with a driver's license suspension. For parents who have fallen behind for three months or more in their child support payments, they could be subject to losing their driving privileges.

There are two systems that the state uses under the Illinois Family Financial Responsibility Law when it comes to child support enforcement. With System One, there will be a court ordered suspension of driving privileges. If a judge finds that a supporting parent is a minimum of 90 days behind on the required payments, the Secretary of State will be notified regarding the contempt of court. Once the record is completed and certified, the driver will be notified that his or her driver's license will be suspended within 60 days. If the parent makes the required payments before the suspension goes into effect, it can be avoided.

With System Two, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services can also request that there be a license suspension through the Secretary of State if a parent is 90 days or more behind in the child support payments. The same rules and notification procedures are applicable as for the System One. This too can be rescinded if the Secretary of State is notified that the obligations have been met. In both cases, the parent who is not current with the child support payments and has had the driver's license suspension might be able to receive a waiver to drive to and from work, as well as for medical care.

The idea of a license suspension serves as motivation for parents who are ordered to pay child support. If there are extenuating circumstances, it is preferable to try and have the payments modified through legal means or to try and come to a different agreement regarding the payments. For parents who are dealing with a supporting parent's refusal to pay, speaking to an attorney about a license suspension can be effective to get what is owed. A paying parent who is unable to adhere to the support agreement for whatever reason should also speak to a legal professional for help when facing a license suspension.

Source: cyberdriveillinois.com, "Driver Services -- Deadbeats Don't Drive," accessed on Nov. 24, 2015

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