Failure To Pay Child Support Can Result in Arrest

Disputes over child support and child custody can be some of the ugliest and most complicated in family law. Unlike other areas of law, where courts’ judgments are final after the appeals process is complete, these issues remain open until the children are grown and, in some cases, out of college. In some of the most difficult cases, disputes over child support can actually result in one parent landing in jail.

Child Support and Body Attachment

When a couple with children gets divorced, the court usually orders one parent to pay child support to the other parent. These orders for child support are governed by Illinois statute. When the order is in a reasonable amount that the party can pay, and that party does pay, there may not be any problems. However, in some cases the parent ordered to pay either cannot pay or willfully does not pay. In those case, the party who is not paying may find him or herself in jail.

A different Illinois law allows for what is called “attachment of the body.” If the party who is owed child support initiates proceedings to enforce the support order, and the person who is not paying fails to show up for court after receiving notice of the court date, the court can enter an order for “attachment of the body.” Ultimately, this means that the sheriff can actually take the person who is not paying and who missed court into custody.

How the Non-Paying Party Gets Out of Jail

When the judge issues the order for body attachment, he or she will determine what 20 percent of the amount of the total unpaid child support is. If the non-paying party pays that 20 percent to be held in escrow, then he or she can be released. This money is paid in the same way as bonds are paid in criminal cases. It is then transferred to the circuit clerk to be held in escrow. Otherwise, the non-paying party will be held until his or her next court date. When the person who is not paying goes to court, the judge will hold a hearing on the petition to enforce the support order. If the person who owes the money skips court again, the money in escrow will be released to the person owed the money.

Contact Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C.

If you are involved in a child support dispute, you need the help of an Illinois family law attorney. Whether you are seeking support from a co-parent who refuses to pay, or you have been saddled with an unfair support order given your financial circumstances, we may be able to help. Call Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C., P.C. at 630-665-7676. When you call we can schedule a case consultation.