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Failure to Pay Child Support

Posted on in Child Support

DuPage County family law attorneys, failure to pay child supportAlong with the division of assets and spousal support, if children are involved, a final divorce decree also includes a child custody agreement and an order for child support. The purpose of child support is to protect the best interests of a child and provide support to the parent with primary custody.

However, sometimes a parent will fail to pay their child support obligation, and it can have negative consequences for everyone involved.

Consequences of Failing to Pay Child Support

If a parent fails to pay child support, the other parent can petition the court to impose penalties. A family law judge can sanction civil and criminal punishments against the parent in arrears, dependent on a number of factors involved in the case. Penalties associated with failure to pay child support can include the following: 

  • Contempt of Court: A judge can find a parent who fails to pay child support in contempt of court. Once a parent has been found in contempt, a judge can place him or her on probation, sentence him or her to periodic imprisonment of up to six months, and garnish the earnings of the parent in arrears. 
  • Criminal Charges: The Non-Support Punishment Act imposes criminal charges on parents who willfully fail to pay their child support. 750 ILCS 16/15 dictates the situations where criminal sanctions may be imposed. It must be shown that a parent either willfully refuses to provide support, willfully fails to pay a support obligation for at least six months, and owes more than $5,000 in back child support. The penalties increase if the amount in arrears is above $10,000 or $15,000, and the consequences of the Non-Support Punishment Act can include a misdemeanor charge up to a Class 4 felony offense, up to $25,000 in fines and restitution, and community service. 
  • Additional Monetary Penalties: A parent who fails to pay child support also faces additional monetary penalties. Any amount that is unpaid at the end of the month is subject to simple interest. Under the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure, the court can order the payment of the principal and interest, force the selling of business assets, place liens against real and personal property, and garnish wages or allocate tax returns to the parent needing support. 
  • Administrative Penalties: Finally, the court can also impose other administrative penalties for failing to pay child support. The court can suspend a parent’s driver’s license, block the issuance of a United States passport, and impose other administrative penalties against the parent in arrears until the child support balance is paid off.

A Family Law Attorney Can Help

Failing to pay child support hurts all parties involved, from the child at issue to the parents who send and receive the money for the child’s needs. The experienced DuPage County family law attorneys at the Davi Law Group, LLC understand and are available to help people in Chicago as well as the western suburbs with their child support issues. Call or contact the office today for a free and confidential consultation of your case.

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