How a child support agreement is enforced in Illinois
Illinois takes the proper support of children very seriously. If a parent is obligated to pay child support under the law, then he or she must do so or face the legal consequences through child support enforcement. Parents who are supposed to receive child support payments and do not receive them in the amount that the child support agreement stipulates may have recourse. If the supporting parent refuses to pay, owns property, has been subjected to wage garnishment, is unemployed or behind in the payments, the receiving parent can take action to have this rectified.
The state has a record of all child support that is supposed to be paid through the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services/Division of Child Support Enforcement. If payments are past due, parents who owe will receive a notice. The department can ask that the debt be added to the parent’s credit report; go through private collection agencies to get the payments; have a lien placed against property; have a lien placed against financial accounts; ask that there be license suspensions; ask that a U.S. passport be suspended; ask for a form of guarantee that the payments will be made if there is no wage garnishment; intercept tax refunds; seek criminal prosecution; and list the name and image on the website of the agency showing that the parent is not paying the required child support.
If there is property owned by the supporting parent, a lien can be issued on that property. This will not result in the payments being collected immediately, but it can stop the parent from selling or completing any other deal involving the property. If the supporting parent’s employer is not deducting wages for child support from the paycheck, federal law requires that this be done if it is ordered. Self-employed parents are not shielded from having their wages garnished if they are not paying what they are supposed to be paying and documentation must be provided regarding a self-employed parent’s income. Unemployed or underemployed parents can have their benefits garnished for child support.
It is a requirement under the law that parents who have delinquent payments be forced to pay according to the support agreement. Parents who are having an issue with a supporting parent’s refusal to pay can learn about their options by speaking to an attorney experienced with child support enforcement procedures.
Source: illinoisattorneygeneral.gov, “Child Support in Illinois — IV. Enforcement, pages 7-9,” accessed on Dec. 8, 2015