What penalties can be assessed for failing to pay child support?
Child support in Illinois is a significant financial responsibility. Based on an agreement between a child’s parents or an order from their family law court, a person may be required to provide their child with money until that child becomes an adult or is otherwise self-sufficient. A child who does not have the financial support that they need may struggle to attain their most basic needs, and because children should not be made to suffer for their parents’ choices the state takes child support enforcement very seriously.
Child support enforcement refers to the system of penalties that may be assessed against a parent who fails to pay their child support obligation. After a parent misses a child support payment their co-parent may seek enforcement remedies to compel action. A judge may review the matter and mandate that the non-compliant parent pay owed support or else face the consequences.
Those consequences can take many forms. Wage and bank account garnishments, for example, are possible means of compelling payment, as are liens on a parent’s properties. A parent who fails to pay child support can also lose their driver’s license. In addition, a non-compliant parent can lose their passport, be criminally prosecuted, and even placed on the state’s list of deadbeat parents.
The state of Illinois takes the payment of child support very seriously and will punish parents who do not stay current on their obligations. Parents who cannot pay child support because of a change in their own financial circumstances may consider seeking modifications to their agreements and orders. A modification may allow a parent to reduce his or her monthly support obligation and accommodate changing financial needs.