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Penalties for Failure to Pay Child Support

 Posted on February 26, 2021 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerIf you are going through a divorce and you share minor children with your spouse, your divorce case will include the allocation of parental responsibilities and a child support determination. Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), courts use an “income shares” model to determine the child support obligation. Under this method, both parents are responsible for paying a portion of the child support obligation based on their individual income and other factors such as the total number of overnights for which they provide caretaking functions for the child. With the income shares model, the court combines both parents’ incomes and uses that figure to determine the total child support obligation based on the Illinois guidelines. Then, each parent is responsible for paying a percentage of that total obligation.

Many different situations can arise that can result in a parent being unable to pay his or her portion of the child support obligation, but it is critical to understand that failure to pay child support can have serious consequences. Whenever you have questions or concerns about child support, you should seek advice from a DuPage County family lawyer to ensure that you are not subject to penalties under Illinois law.

Penalties for Failure to Pay Child Support

The IMDMA clarifies that there are serious penalties if either parent fails to pay his or her portion of the child support obligation. The first step, according to the IMDMA, is to hold the non-paying parent in contempt. Once the court finds the non-paying parent to be guilty of contempt, the court can also impose the following penalties:

  • Place the parent on probation
  • Sentence the parent to periodic imprisonment for a period of up to six months (with periods of release for work)

In addition, the court “may further order any part or all of the earnings of a parent during a sentence of periodic imprisonment paid to the Clerk of the Circuit Court or to the parent having physical possession of the child or to the non-parent custodian having custody of the child of the sentenced parent for the support of the child until further order of the court.” It is important to know that the court can also take other steps to collect child support, such as garnishing the wages of the non-paying parent.

Given that Illinois courts take the failure to pay child support extremely seriously, it is essential to get help from a family law attorney if you cannot afford to pay child support for reasons beyond your control, such as a job loss or a serious illness.

Contact an Oakbrook Terrace Child Support Attorney

If you have experienced a change in circumstances and need to modify your child support obligation, you should seek advice from one of the experienced Oakbrook Terrace child support attorneys at Farooqi & Husain Law Office as soon as possible. We are committed to providing careful and compassionate representation to members of the Muslim community in DuPage County, and we can begin working with you on your case today. Contact Farooqi & Husain Law Office online or call us at 630-909-9114 to learn more about the family law services we provide in Illinois.



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