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How are child support obligations enforced in Illinois?

Child support obligations are important for parents to take seriously. If a non-custodial parent fails to make required child support payments according to a child support order, they can face significant consequences. In Illinois, parents may wonder what these potential penalties and consequences are. There are several different child support enforcement methods that may be applied in circumstances when there has been a failure to pay child support.

Penalties and consequences for failure to pay child support can include significant fines; wage and bank account garnishment; community service requirements; jail time in some circumstances and other penalties as well. In general, criminal punitive measures are reserved for situations when a parent has not made child support payments for greater than 6 months or owes greater than $10,000 in back child support payments.

Additional consequences for failure to pay child support can include interception of state and federal income tax refunds; liens being placed against property; suspension or revocation of a driver's license; denial of a passport if the parent owes greater than $2,500 in back child support payments; the listing of the parent's name and photo on a website for "deadbeat" parents; and some additional enforcement measures as well. In the face of all of the potential penalties and consequences associated with the nonpayment of child support, it is important for parents to keep in mind that child support modification options may be possible.

Before a child support situation becomes unmanageable for parents, a parent struggling to make required child support payments should remember that they can ask the court for a child support modification based on an explanation of the circumstances warranting the change. Rather than ignoring the serious situation, parents should use the family law process, which is available to help them, to address their child support enforcement and modification concerns.

Source:, "Illinois Child Support Enforcement," Accessed March 7, 2017

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