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Withholding Child Support

Posted on in Child Support

DuPage County child support attorneys, withholding child supportA non-custodial parent may refuse to pay child support. He or she may cite reasons for not complying with child support orders such as concerns regarding how the payments are utilized by the custodial parent or a lack of visitation. Unfortunately, this is an common issue.

If you are a non-custodial parent and are required to pay child support by a court, then it is important to understand that your duty to pay child support is not tied to your visitation or custody rights. In other words, you may not withhold child support, even if your former spouse is unjustly denying you visitation or parenting time. In fact, it is possible that a non-custodial parent may be required to pay child support yet does not have custodial or visitation rights. 

In Illinois, the law regarding child support is focused on the best interests of the child, not the parent. Additionally, Illinois requires non-custodial parents to provide financial support to the custodial parents—children have the right to receive care and support from their parents. The parental responsibility to provide this care does not end because a marriage or relationship is over. If a non-custodial parent withholds or fails to pay child support, the Illinois department of child support services can assist the custodial parent in receiving support. 

The Illinois Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) can use the following mechanisms to enforce a child support order: 

  • Wage Garnishment: The DCSS can collect past-due child support through a wage garnishment. The DCSS will serve the parent's employer with an Income Withholding for Support request to have the employer withhold salary to pay current and back child support until the past due balance is paid;
  • Other Forms of Collection: If the DCSS cannot garnish the non-custodial parent's wages, then the DCSS may use other strategies to collect the past due support. These strategies include intercepting state or federal tax returns, seizing bank accounts, or imposing property liens;
  • Suspension of Licenses: The Family Financial Responsibility Act gives the DCSS the authority to terminate a non-custodial parent's driving privileges if his or her child support payments are 90 days past due. The DCSS may also request suspension of a non-custodial parent's passport, professional license, or occupational license if the parent fails to pay child support; and
  • Criminal Prosecution: The DCSS may request state or federal prosecution if a non-custodial parent refuses to pay child support for more than six months and owes more than $5,000. Additionally, the non-custodial parent may be fined or imprisoned.

It may be frustrating to pay child support with limits on visitation; however, it is important to remember visitation and child support are not always connected. Additionally, the DCSS has many tools available to enforce a child support order that can disrupt other areas of life. 

Contact an Attorney

If you are a non-custodial parent who has withheld child support because you were denied visitation, or if you have paid child support and want to adjust your visitation, then please contact the skilled DuPage County child support attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC to discuss your options. We can review the status of your child support payment and visitation and help you with both issues.


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