Challenges to Collecting Child Support - DuPage County Divorce Attorney | Bloomingdale Family Law Lawyers
Button 1 Button 2 Button 3 Button 4 Button 5 Button 6
Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices
DuPage County Attorneys


900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630-932-9100


134 N. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Phone: 630-529-4761


1730 Park Street, Suite 202, Naperville, IL 60563

Phone: 630-420-1000

Challenges to Collecting Child Support

Posted on in Family Law
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Print

family law attorneys, child support, collecting child support, Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices, non-custodial parentIllinois Law 

When a couple divorces in Illinois, in most cases, the non-custodial parent will be required to pay child support to the custodial parent. The law governing child support payments in Illinois is the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (“Act”). Under the Act, a couple can negotiate on their own what terms they want to work out for payment or, if the couple cannot agree, the court will arraign a structured payment plan that is in the best interests of the child or children.

Enforcement Mechanisms

Just because the court orders a parent to pay child support, it is not guaranteed that payments will be enforced or that the custodial parent will receive the money. The court does have mechanisms in place to collect payment, like garnishing the non-custodial parent’s wages.

Garnishing wages is the most effective way of ensuring compliance. Illinois has a flat percentage formula: 20 percent is deducted from a non-custodial parent’s wages if the couple has one child; 28 percent if they have two; and 32 percent if they have three or more children together. There is a cap that limits the deduction to no more than 65 percent of a paycheck, regardless of the number of children the couple has together. This money is sent to the State Disbursement Unit, which then mails the check to the custodial parent.

There are other punishments if a non-custodial parent fails to pay child support. The court can take away the non-custodial parent’s driver’s license or passport. The court can also enforce other financial penalties, such as withholding federal tax refunds or placing a lien against property of the non-custodial parent. However, the court only uses these methods if other, less punitive actions have failed.

Revolving Door into the Courtroom

Unfortunately, even when the court has enforcement measures in place, custodial parents sometimes end up going back to court multiple times to obtain the court-ordered child support. There are several hurdles that the court faces in enforcing payment. If a parent moves around frequently it may be difficult to track the parent down and the parent may move out of the court’s enforcement jurisdiction.

Another hurdle the court faces is if or when to modify the payments. If a parent is constantly changing jobs, he or she may not have a steady income and cannot consistently pay support each month. Sometimes the parent may be acting fraudulently by underreporting his or her income or identifying his or her occupation as “self-employed” and hiding possible earnings.

Most states, including Illinois, get federal funding to assist parents in getting child support payments. In many counties, there are child support enforcement divisions that assist parents with establishing paternity, and then, once paternity is established, seek enforcement of payment by the non-custodial parent.

In some cases the non-custodial parent will refuse to pay or is unable to pay if they are jobless or in jail. Courts are reluctant to threaten jail for failure to pay child support because they have found that it just leads into pattern of non-payment and jail time.

Alternative Methods of Collection

Some frustrated custodial parents are looking to collection agencies to collect on non-payment of child support. There are many agencies that specialize in enforcing collection of child support payments. In Illinois, there is no statute of limitations for enforcing payment. These agencies have the manpower and time to further investigate the issue, which the overburdened courts are unable or unwilling to do. However, it is at a significant cost to the custodial parent, as collection agencies in return may ask for a hefty percentage of money that they end up collecting as a fee for their services.


For more information about family law issues, including apply for and collecting child support, please contact the experienced family law attorneys at Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices. We can assist you with any family law-related issues you may be facing.

Latest Blog Posts


  • DuPage County Divorce Lawyers
  • Elite Lawyer
  • National Association of Distinguished Counsel
  • Top 40 Under 40
  • 2015 Top 40 Lawyers Under 40
  • Super Lawyers
  • Better Business Bureau

Let us start helping you with a FREE initial consultation.

NOTE: Fields with a * indicate a required field.

One Stop For All Your Legal Needs

Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices can help. Our trial lawyers have over 40 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from 3 offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, and Naperville.

Steven Mevorah has assembled experienced attorneys under one roof so that his clients need not search for a new attorney each time they need help. Mr. Mevorah has also established a wide network of additional attorneys so that his clients merely need to stop by Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices to find the attorney they need.

Client Focused Representation

Our practice is focused on meeting your needs with flexible hours and locations to serve you:

  • Free initial consultations
  • Saturday and evening appointments available
  • Home and hospital visits if your injuries prevent you from traveling
  • Multiple locations throughout Chicagoland
  • Veteran trial attorneys
  • Experienced negotiators
  • Payment plans available
  • Cash, check, or credit card accepted