What is Support Withholding?
Child Support Withholding
For years the residential parent was often times left without support because the obligor failed to pay to the residential parent his child support. The Court had little power to compel the parent to pay support. This changed in the 1980’s with income withholding for support. Now, when a support order is entered, that order and a notice is sent to the obligor’s employer and the child support is automatically withheld from his or her paycheck. This enforcement method ensures residential parents so that he/she can rely on a regular source of support for the child or children. You can learn more here.
Since 1988, all court orders for child support include an automatic income withholding order. The other parent can also get a wage garnishment order from the court if you get behind in child support payments. Illinois can deduct support from any form of periodic payments.
This method of income withholding is not mandatory. There are other methods to secure support. However, the most common method is income withholding.
What will happen if you owe unpaid child support?
If you owe unpaid child support, your child’s other parent has a number of ways to collect the money from you.
- First, the other parent may go to court and ask a judge to issue a judgment for the amount of the arrears. This is called a judgment for child support. Once the parent has a judgment, a whole host of collection methods become available.
- Even without a judgment for past-due child support, there are other options for collection, such as automatic wage withholding.
- Finally, both the federal and state governments are also involved in enforcing child support orders – and they can use aggressive tactics to get the money for your kids.
Illinois uses the federal limits set forth under the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA). Federal law limits what can be taken from your paycheck for this type of wage garnishment. Up to 50% of your disposable earnings may be garnished to pay child support if you are currently supporting a spouse or a child who isn’t the subject of the order. If you are not supporting a spouse or child, up to 60% of your earnings may be taken. An additional five percent may be garnished for support payments over 12 weeks in arrears.
You may have more than one child support withholding order but not enough disposable income to pay your child support obligations in full. If this is the case, your total disposable income (from 50-65% as described above) will be split up amongst your child support orders, based upon how much is owed for each.
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