Recovering delinquent child support payments in Illinois
Currently many people are experiencing financial difficulties due to today’s economy. When custodial parents do not receive the ordered child support their situations can become particularly dire.
Though last year the state of Illinois collected $800 million in child support payments owed, close to $3 billion is owed to custodial parents in the state. Some of the most difficult funds to recover are the amounts owed by noncustodial parents who are self-employed. This is because nationally child support is collected by withholding it from paychecks at least two-thirds of the time. There must be a W-2 filed for this method to work. A noncustodial parent, who works for himself or herself, has not filed a W-2.
In Illinois, child support amounts are determined by statute. Current guidelines indicate that 20 percent of the noncustodial parent’s income should be provided for one child. The percentage goes up to 28 percent when there are two children involved and 32 percent for three children. The number maxes out at 50 percent when six or more children are involved. While the statute sets forth guidelines, judges are able to diverge from the guidelines.
So how does a custodial parent go about getting the child support that is owed? Among other ways, the Illinois Child Support Enforcement Office can grab federal and state tax refunds of noncustodial parents and redirect them to the custodial parent. In addition, in situations where the noncustodial parent is delinquent on his or her payments, unemployment benefits could be withheld. Another technique that is sometimes effective is through property liens.
While they will not immediately result in recovering the delinquent payments, other punishments are available as well. Some delinquent parents may lose their professional or driver’s license. In more serious situations a parent may find himself or herself in jail.
Because every situation is different, parents who are owed child support can learn about their options by consulting an experienced family law attorney.