Parents who receive child support often rely on these funds to pay for their children's clothing, food, and the bills that keep a roof over their heads. However, if the other parent stops paying, it can drastically affect the receiving parent’s living situation. Without the financial support, his or her child may not receive three meals a day, a properly fitting winter coat, or necessary medical and dental care.
Most parents have no problem emotionally and financially supporting their children, no matter the custody situation. Yet others disagree with paying court-mandated support or feel they cannot afford it because it would change their standard of living.
If a recipient parent is not receiving support, there are methods to change the situation. The parent should contact his or her Illinois family law attorney right away to learn more.
What You Cannot Do
You are not allowed to modify parenting time or stop visitation because you are not receiving child support. Custody and visitation are a separate issue from child support under the law. It may be frustrating to have to cooperate with your child’s other parent when you know he or she is not upholding court orders; however, it is in the best interest of the child to maintain his or her schedule and a healthy relationship with both parents.
What You Can Do
When you are not receiving court-mandated child support, you will need to use a legal process to fix the situation. It is always best to consult your attorney first, before determining how to address the situation.
You can notify the Illinois Department of Child Support Services that the other parent is not paying court ordered support. The DCSS has a number of procedural ways to enforce payment of child support. When the DCSS is notified that you are not receiving support, it will usually begin a collections process against the other parent. This process can lead to garnishing the other parent’s wages, collecting the parent’s tax refunds, seizing bank accounts, and issuing property liens. If a wage garnishment is put in place, the garnishment may deduct the normal amount of child support as well as an additional amount to slowly make up for the late support.
The Paying Parent’s Options
If the DCSS undertakes a procedural option to garnish the parent’s wages or collect money another way, the other parent will be notified in writing. He or she can always agree to the process or disagree and request a redetermination of the case within a certain number of days. In some situations, the owing parent can pay the past due amount immediately to avoid other consequences, such as losing his or her driver’s license or criminal prosecution.
Contact an Illinois Family Law Attorney
An experienced attorney can be helpful when you are fighting to get the support you need. A lawyer will know your rights and your legal options and can also advise you as to what you cannot do, such as withholding your child, which could be a violation of a court order. Please contact our DuPage County family law attorneys to learn more. We are eager to assist you with your case.