What can happen if I don’t pay child support?

Understandably, some Illinois non-custodial parents have difficulty making their child support payments. It can be expensive to pay your bills and live on a single income while supporting your children, as well. Other parents may resent having to pay or decide not to pay if they disagree with their ex’s parenting style or life decisions. However, it is never wise to purposefully withhold child support. You could face numerous legal consequences for doing so.

According to FindLaw, there are penalties for deliberate non-payment of child support in Illinois. If you decide on this route, you might face the following consequences:

  • You could be fined.
  • You might have your wages garnished and your tax refund intercepted to repay child support arrears.
  • You might end up with a lien against your property.
  • You could have your driver’s license and professional licenses suspended, as well as have your passport denied.
  • You might be ordered to perform community service or face jail time.
  • You could have your photograph and name placed on the Illinois deadbeat parent website.

This information may overwhelm and even frighten you if you are behind on child support payments. However, you might be reassured to learn that criminal penalties are usually reserved for parents who purposefully haven’t paid for over six months or have more than $10,000 in child support arrears. Parents who are having difficulty meeting their child support obligations may have options to make it easier to pay. This information should not take the place of legal advice.