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What happens if I fall behind in child support payments?

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2022 | Child Support

Parents are legally required to provide for their children the necessities they require to thrive in life. In an event of a divorce or separation, the family court may direct the non-custodial parent to pay child support to the custodial parent. This payment ensures the custodial parent has the resources to finance the child’s needs.

Unfortunately, not all parents follow through with this obligation. As a result, they may end up stopping or getting behind in child support payments. It is important to note that child support is enforceable should you fail to keep up with the payments.

Why defaulting on your child support obligation is a big deal

Defaulting on child support in Illinois can land you in serious trouble with the law. If you fail to make child support payments for some time, the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) may initiate prosecution against you. A conviction may result in a fine or even jail time.

Additionally, the DCSS can take the following steps again you:

  • Garnish your bank account, paycheck and seize your assets
  • Engage private collection agencies to collect child support arrears
  • Intercept any state and federal tax refunds for purposes of settling your child support arrears
  • Refer your case to the state department so your passport request can be denied
  • Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license
  • Impose interest on outstanding arrears. And this interest can add up pretty quickly

What are your options when you can’t keep up with your child support?

Circumstances change in life. If you are no longer able to honor your child support payments due to loss of income, illness or other financial difficulties, you may consider modifying the existing order through the court. Obviously, the worst mistake you can make is doing nothing about the matter.

Child support can be a contentious subject. If you find yourself in a situation where you can no longer make child support payments, it is important that you petition the family court for a child support modification.