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What Happens When a Parent Refuses to Pay Child Support?

 Posted on January 05, 2024 in Family Law

Blog ImageChild support is a legal obligation that requires non-custodial parents to provide financial support to their children on a regular basis to help cover the costs of their upbringing. When a parent fails to meet their child support obligations, they are considered delinquent, and this can have serious consequences for both the child and the parent involved.

Delinquent child support is a significant and widespread issue that affects millions of children and families across the United States. According to the Office of Child Support Services (OCSS), as of January 2021, the total amount of child support arrears submitted to the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) by states totals more than $113 billion. If you are having difficulty collecting child support owed to you, an Illinois family lawyer can help.

Impact of Delinquent Child Support

One of the most troubling aspects of delinquent child support is the impact it has on the health and well-being of children. Children rely on financial support from both parents to meet their basic needs, such as food, clothing, shelter, and education. When a non-custodial parent falls behind on child support payments or refuses to pay, it can put these essential needs at risk. This may lead to a lower quality of life for the child, interfering with their emotional and physical development, as well as their future prospects.  

Delinquent child support also places a significant burden on custodial parents, who are left to shoulder the financial responsibility of raising their children on their own. This can lead to financial hardship, increased stress, and a reduced quality of life for those parents. Many parents who have custody of their children rely on child support payments to make ends meet, and when those payments are not made, it can be difficult for them to be able to financially provide for children adequately.

How Does the State Handle Deadbeat Parents?

When it comes to parents’ responsibility for providing financially for their children, Illinois law is quite clear - whether a parent has custody or not, they have both a moral and legal obligation to provide for their child.

If a parent refuses to pay their court-ordered child support or work towards clearing up arrears, the state of Illinois has put in place several measures to collect these funds.

One of the most common methods Illinois uses is wage garnishment, which allows child support payments to be automatically deducted from the non-custodial parent's paycheck. This ensures a consistent and reliable source of income for the custodial parent, reducing the risk of delinquency.

Illinois also utilizes the power of intercepting federal and state tax refunds when non-custodial parents owe child support arrears. Instead of refunds going to the delinquent parent, the funds go directly to the state, which then disperses them to the custodial parent.

The state also employs the suspension of driver's licenses and professional licenses as a means of motivating non-compliant parents to meet their child support obligations. This can serve as a powerful incentive for delinquent parents to address their arrears and make consistent payments.

In extreme cases, Illinois may pursue legal action, including contempt of court charges, which can result in fines or even incarceration for the non-custodial parent.

Contact a Bloomingdale, IL Family Lawyer for Child Support Legal Assistance

If your ex has fallen behind or refuses to pay their child support, a DuPage County, IL child support attorney from Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices can help navigate you through the court system to ensure you and your child get the financial support you are entitled to. Call 630-932-9100 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

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