Child support a tricky aspect of family law in Illinois

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Support on Tuesday, November 5, 2013.

Since the courts in Illinois are already overburdened with child support cases, some parents will push the envelope by continuing to defy court orders. Typically, this means one parent is not receiving their court-ordered child support and finds themselves stuck, trying to figure out how to get the money that is owed to them.

One Barrington, Illinois, mother recently shared her story. She claims her ex-husband owes more than $70,000 in child support. However, not only does the father question how much he owes, but says the reason he stopped paying was due to the fact his ex-wife turned his children against him and he no longer sees them.

In this case, the couple went through a bitter divorce seven years ago. For a while, the father was paying $700 a month in child support for his two children. However, his ex-wife ended up taking him back to court, claiming he was not following their divorce agreement by not providing additional funding for medical and school costs.

During this process, at some point, the father received permission from the judge to delay a hearing so he could travel. That was the last time he appeared in the Lake County Courthouse. He has since moved to Colorado and now resides in Alaska.

For the mother, while she is frustrated that she is not receiving child support — and has hired a lawyer — her case is just one of many in Illinois.

According to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, of those child support cases handled by the state, 59 percent of the cases were collected on in 2012. This was an increase from the 55 percent that was collected in 2011, but still means 41 percent of child support cases handled by the state were not collected on last year.

In cases where the noncustodial parent is refusing to pay, by law, there can be sanctions, including taking away hunting privileges, driver’s licenses, passports and federal tax refunds. In addition, liens can be placed against properties.

However, authorities are not always quick to enforce sanctions. Rather, authorities are more interested in collecting the money that is owed, something that could not happen if a parent lost their driver’s license and could no longer get to work.

In cases though where child support is not being paid, this is where a family law attorney can step in. This attorney can look at the facts of the case and explain what options may be available.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “Child support challenges courts in Illinois,” Lisa Black, Oct. 25, 2013

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