When Illinois parents are the victim of domestic violence and are ending their marriage as a result, it can cause them to be reluctant to seek child support as they may fear retaliation. Even if the abuser does agree to make child support payments, it could be another way to exert control with a view towards reneging on the promise in the future.
An abuser may use a number of tactics in order to get the parent to drop the child support case. Common techniques include threats. For example, the abuser may threaten to personally harm the custodial parent or threaten to take the child away from them if they file for child support. They may also make empty promises to pay child support voluntarily without going to court. In many cases, this results in the custodial parent only getting insignificant amounts of child support given at random times or no payments at all. They may also ask to make payments directly instead of having the payments garnished from their wages, though the result often ends up being the same.
The courts may take certain precautions to protect domestic violence victims. For example, they may make certain information, such as where the parent lives and where the child goes to school, anonymous. They also may not require the parent to appear in court in person when the abuser is there or they may issue an order of protection.
If a parent fears for their life but the abuser refuses to pay child support, a family law attorney may determine what options the parent has. If the abuser has a history of failing to pay the child support that is owed, the attorney may go to court for the parent and request that the child support order be enforced. Counsel may also represent the parent during court appearances so that the parent does not have to face the abuser.