Chicago Child Support Arrears Attorneys
Legal Help With Child Support Delinquency in Chicago
Child support ensures that children of divorce are provided for and are able to maintain stability and a basic quality of life after their parents separate. Often, the custodial parent receiving support counts on timely child support payments to cover the bills and handle everyday expenses that come with raising children. When those payments stop coming, it can be difficult to buy food, clothes, and other essential items.
Child support delinquency is a serious problem for many Chicago families; however, there are legal options available that can help. Whether you are a parent who is not receiving payments or a parent who hasn't made the payments, our Chicago child support lawyers may be able to help you. For excellent legal help, call Nottage and Ward, LLP at (312) 332-2915 today.
What Is Considered Delinquent?
The parent who is obligated to pay child support is considered delinquent when they fail to make child support payments as required under the child support order agreement. The delinquency is the total amount of money due that must be paid by the obligated parent. However, the court will not automatically step in to make the delinquent parent pay up. The parent who is owed money must take action to ask for help securing the payments. The best way to do this is to work with a skilled attorney who can notify the court for you.
When the court is notified that a parent has fallen behind on payments, the court will determine the amount of delinquent child support that is owed. This amount is called an "arrearage." Once the court steps in and determines the arrearage, it creates several legal options for the parent receiving support. You can choose to let the court decide on what should happen to your former partner, the obligated parent, or you can work with your former partner to come up with a repayment plan. Some people will choose to work with their former partner, as the court can make harsh decisions in the interest in making sure child support is properly paid. However, you should never feel pressured to just go along with what your former partner wants because they fear the court. Especially not when the court options are ones that will work in your favor.
When the Court Becomes Involved
The Illinois courts do not take delinquent child support lightly. If you decide to take your former partner to court over the matter, there are many actions they can take to ensure that you get the proper payments. These actions can be incredibly harsh, but they serve an important purpose in making sure that both parents are doing their part to take of the child.
Wage garnishing: Among the most common ways to make sure that a delinquent parent is paying for their child, the court may begin to garnish your former partner’s wages, sending the pulled money to you. The court will stop garnishing wages once the full amount, including interest, is paid off. That may be done in one lump sum or in smaller increments over time, depending on their wages.
Seizing business assets: If your former partner has a business that they own or run, then the court may begin to seize assets in order to pay for the delinquent child support payments. Even if your former partner hastily sent a business partner their savings in order to avoid making child support payments, that transfer of money could still be seized by the court.
Enforcement of interest: If a child support payment is more than 30 days overdue, then it begins to accrue interest. This means that your former partner could be legally required to pay more than what they originally owed.
Further methods of repayment: There are several other avenues that the court may take to make sure that you get the proper child support payments you are owed. For example, the court may seize any tax returns going to your former partner, take bank accounts, or even place liens on any property your former partner owns.
Contempt of court: On top of working to make sure you receive proper repayment, the court may also decide that further action is required in regard to punishing your former partner. Because child support payments are a court order, ignoring them could result in your former partner being held in contempt of court for violating your divorce agreement. Such a charge could result in up to six months in jail or on probation, with free time given to work. The wages from the job will be either seized fully or garnished to make sure that you are still receiving proper child support payments.
Suspension of license: If child support payments are overdue by 90 days or more, then the court may see fit to suspend your former partner’s driver’s license. Of course, you should remember that the court’s first priority is making sure that you receive the payments owed. It is likely that the court will give your former partner a limited driving permit that will allow them to still travel to work so that your payments will not be stalled.
Criminal charges and conviction: Refusing to make child support payments is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois. This means that your former partner could be thrown in jail for up to a year. On top of that, if your former partner continues to miss payments, leaves the state in order to avoid making payments, or owes you more than $10,000, then that misdemeanor charge could turn into a felony. That could potentially mean that they spend between one and three years in prison and are forced to pay fines of between $1,000 and $25,000. While that may seem harsh, it is important to remember that ignoring child support payments in Illinois is considered a criminal act, and the court is invested in making sure that those acting as criminals face punishments.
The Burden of Proof
If your former partner does not want to go to court for their delinquent payments, they may try to threaten you by claiming you have no proof they haven’t paid child support. Never buy such a ridiculous threat. When it comes to delinquent child support payments, the obligated parent is the one who has the burden of proof. This means that rather than proving that they didn’t pay you, they would have to prove that they did. The obligated parent is the one who is supposed to hold on to financial records that show they made payments. Of course, having some evidence on your side will help your case. That is why working with a dedicated Illinois family law attorney who can build an airtight case is of the utmost importance.
Contact an Experienced Chicago Child Support Lawyer
No family should go without the court-ordered payments that they need. Child support is not just legally required, it is necessary for the welfare of your child. If the obligated parent of your child has fallen behind on child support payments, contact Nottage and Ward, LLP right away. Our attorneys are passionate about helping families in need. If you work with us, we will provide dedicated and skilled legal aid.
Contact our Chicago family law attorneys at (312) 332-2915 to schedule your no-obligation consultation and have your case evaluated by one of our experienced attorneys.
- Failure to Pay Child Support Could Cost You Your Illinois Professional License
- State Tells Parents who are Behind on Child Support to Pay Up
- What Happens If My Ex-Spouse Doesn’t Pay Court Ordered Child Support Payments?
- What are the Consequences of Failing to Pay Child Support in Illinois?
- How to Make a Payment
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5 Leslie has been the strongest representation I could ask for
Leslie has been the strongest representation I could ask for in a very complicated, emotional matter. She has continuously looked out for my best interest and the best interest of my son. She is always prompt in getting back to me and in keeping me well informed about my case.
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