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What Can I Do if My Ex Stopped Paying Child Support?

On Behalf of | Oct 6, 2023 | Child Support

Divorce can be an extremely complicated process for parents. Several important decisions need to be made about how the parents will proceed with raising their children once they are no longer one family unit. But the complexities do not end once a divorce settlement is reached.

What if one spouse does not fulfill the conditions of the divorce? What if, for example, your spouse has stopped making the child support payments that you depend on? If you are divorced and your ex-spouse has suddenly stopped paying child support, a Chicago, IL divorce lawyer can discuss with you the options you have for reinstating those payments.

Why Is Child Support So Important?

Generally speaking, the courts do not get involved in a typical family’s private issues. That means courts do not tell married parents who needs to be with their children when, and they do not intervene in how the parents conduct their family’s finances. But when a couple is going through divorce, the court needs to mandate many decisions that would be left to a married couple to decide on their own:

  • Which parent will the children live with?

  • Which parent can make which decisions that impact the child?

  • Which parent needs to make “child support” payments to the other?

A parenting plan means that the divorced parents have rules to follow. They know who is supposed to pick the children up from school or drive them to their extra-curricular activities, where the children will spend their holidays, and which parent will have them for the weekend. They will also know which parent is supposed to make child support payments, on what date, and for how much.

Knowing this means that both parents, the one making the payments and the one receiving them, can make their respective financial plans with this in mind. But if a parent suddenly decides not to make those payments, it can be extremely stressful for the other parent.

What Can I Do to Get My Ex to Resume Child Support Payments?

If you and your ex maintain some type of communication, you can try to ask them what happened. Maybe they are overwhelmed and unable to keep track of these kinds of things. Maybe it was a mistake. Maybe it was on purpose. Maybe they were embarrassed to tell you they are having financial hardships and feel unable to make their payments. Whatever the case may be, the best way to find out what is going on is by asking directly. You may even find that there is a way for the two of you to work this out together, without involving the court.

If that is not a viable option for you, the Illinois Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) offers their assistance in these kinds of situations, for free. This is the best option for someone looking for a cost-effective way to get what they need, but who can also afford to wait however long it might take. DCSS is often backlogged with long waiting times, so if this is something you feel you need to resolve urgently, this might not be the next option for you.

Another option is to contact a divorce attorney in the state where you and the child live. An experienced attorney can often bring a prompt resolution to child support nonpayment cases. This is often the quickest, most effective way to get a solution that is tailor-made for your personal situation.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Chicago, IL Child Support Lawyer

If your ex stopped making their child support payments to you, an experienced Chicago, IL divorce attorney can guide you during this stressful time. Call NextLevel Law, P.C. by Daniel R. Hernandez, Esq. at 312-442-2225 today to schedule a free consultation.