Illinois judge rules against company in child support case

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Support on Wednesday, September 18, 2013.

A child support case involving Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois has been going on for years. And while it is a rather extreme case, it does go to show the general confusion that can stem from unpaid child support.

In this case, a husband and wife divorced in 2008 after 20 years of marriage. The couple had three children together and the husband was ordered to pay his ex-wife $930 a week in child support, alimony and medical insurance premiums. However, the ex-wife claimed she was not receiving the payments on time — or in the correct amount — which was when the real complications started.

The ex-husband is a chiropractor. He is reimbursed for his patients’ care by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois. When he fell behind on payments, his ex-wife contacted the insurance company in order to have his wages garnished. However, the company refused to comply, claiming their role was not to get involved in personal cases.

After sending a second notice to the company — which was acting as a “payor” to the chiropractor — and again hearing a refusal, a claim was filed against the company.

Since this claim, a trial court has ruled in favor of the company, while an Illinois appellate court has reversed this decision. This reversal sent the case back to trial court. Most recently, a Cook County judge ruled again in favor of the ex-wife saying Blue Cross Blue Shield is not above the law and should have garnished the chiropractor’s wages — or taking legal steps — after he failed to pay the full amount of his support obligations.

At this point, due to fines that have accumulated over the years, the woman may be entitled to receive millions of dollars. This would be in addition to the $93,600 Blue Cross Blue Shield already paid in 2010 to try and curb the damage.

In the end, for Illinois parents either paying or receiving child support, this back-and-forth case goes to show the importance of communication and having a clear understanding of the implications of paying child support . If there is an aspect that does not seem fair, or does not make sense, this should be shared with a family law attorney who has experience handling child support cases in Illinois.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “Woman in battle with Blue Cross over child support payments,” Lisa Black, Sept. 1, 2013

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