Child support disputes are unique. While most legal disputes can be settled one time, once and for all, child support orders can change over time due to the changing circumstances of both a child and his or her parents. These cases are also unique because their outcome is largely dependent upon the financial position of the parents involved. Therefore, it is vital that the court has full and accurate information when making child support determinations. Hence, when a parent tries to hide income, and he or she gets caught, the cost can be high.
Relief from Judgments
When a court makes a final decision in a case, it enters a final order or judgment in most circumstances. In a child support case a court will usually order one parent to pay a certain amount of child support to the other parent. The order is usually binding upon the parents unless and until some sort of modification of the child support obligation is requested and then ordered by the court. For example, imagine that a parent was originally ordered to pay $300 per month. If that parent did not pay the ordered amount, his or her arrearage will go up by $300 per month.
Imagine again, however, that the order of $300 was based on fraud and the parent who was ordered to pay had hidden income and really should have been ordered to pay $500 a month instead of $300. It may seem like the other parent is out of luck, since $300 is all the court ordered. Under the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure there is a way to undo a judgment or final order. And if the reason that the judgment or order should be undone is something that is hidden by fraud, then this tool can be used years later when that fraud is finally uncovered. The parent who has been wronged by the fraud must file the appropriate petition with the court.
Deliberate Fraud Can Lead to Retroactive Child Support
When one parent lies about his or her income and the other parent discovers the fraud and files the appropriate petition, the court may order a type of retroactive child support—under Illinois law, a parent who committed fraud may be ordered to pay back-child support in order to make up for the amount that was not originally ordered because of the fraud. Additionally, the court may order that the parent who committed the fraud pay 9 percent simple interest on the unpaid child support.
Call Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C. Today
If you are fighting to get the child support payments to which your family is entitled, you will need the assistance of skilled Illinois family law lawyers. Please contact Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C. at (630) 756-5112. Our child support litigators will fight for you.