Illinois parents who are owed child support have the ability to seek to collect it. In many cases, custodial parents may need to go to court in order to potentially recover the back child support that they are owed under the federal Child Support Recovery Act. However, there are certain things that they must do before they go before a judge.
After child support orders have been issued during Illinois divorce proceedings, some parents fail to comply with them. While some may become delinquent because of financial problems, others willfully attempt to avoid paying their court-ordered child support. It is illegal under federal law for parents to intentionally avoid making their child support payments.
Child support exists to provide financial assistance to parents raising a child or children on their own. With child support, it should be easier for single parents to provide clothing, food and shelter for children. As a result, when a couple splits up and one person is no longer living with their children, this parent is normally obligated to pay child support.
Divorced Illinois parents who are finding it difficult to collect court-ordered support may be interested in news coming out of Louisiana regarding an ongoing case in that state. The former NFL player Robert Meachem began serving a jail sentence there for non-payment of child support and alimony on Feb. 13. Although he was sentenced to 30 days behind bars by a Jefferson Parish court, payment of a portion of the nearly $400,000 that is reportedly in arrears could result in an earlier release for him.
Illinois parents who are incarcerated will be able to file for a modification of child support under a rule that Barack Obama signed and which went into effect on Jan. 19. So far, the Trump administration has not indicated that it plans to roll the law back although this may change when more positions within the administration are filled.
Illinois residents might have heard about the divorce of former "The View" co-host Sherri Shepherd. Since her divorce in 2014, Shepherd has been involved in legal disputes over the parentage of a child that was born through surrogacy. The ex is now raising the child, and Shepherd is paying $6,400 per month in child support.
Divorced Illinois parents who have to pay child support should be aware that if their exes missed a payment, that doesn't excuse them for being responsible for it. The obligation to make delinquent child support payments will continue.
Child support can be arranged either through a court order or an agreement made by a couple during a divorce. However, just because parents owed support it does not mean that they will always receive it. When an individual fails to meet the obligations, it may be up to the custodial parent to determine the location of the non-paying parent.
The obligation to pay child support does not stop once an individual becomes incarcerated. A survey conducted in 2010 reported that 51,000 federal prisoners had child support requirements, and 29,000 of those prisoners were delinquent on those payments. Incarcerated individuals in Illinois and the rest of the country may benefit from recent regulations issued by the Obama administration to curtail state policies that can result in substantial child support debts for prisoners.