Illinois parents frustrated by lack of child support

On behalf of The Walters Law Group, Ltd. posted in Child Support on Tuesday, November 5, 2013.

Divorced custodial parents throughout Illinois are expressing their frustration withthe state’s child support system. They allege that the system is unable to effectively help them collect child support that they desperately need.

On a national level, child support collections were increasing until the start of the economic downturn in 2008. Many parents now must often return to court multiple times in order to obtain the support that had already been ordered. However, some cases are particularly difficult to enforce, such as parents who move frequently, switch jobs often or under-report their earnings. Traditional forms of recovery like wage garnishment may not be possible in these cases. Like all other states, Illinois receives federal funds to help parents obtain the support they need. Child support enforcement offices can handle thousands of cases, help parents determine the location of noncustodial parents and compel child support.

Proponents say that collections work best when child support is automatically taken out of the noncustodial parent’s paycheck. Illinois has a flat percentage system that requires a 20 percent minimum deduction for one child, 28 percent for two children and four percent more for each additional child. In any case, no more than 65 percent of a paycheck can be deducted for child support. If parents do not pay child support, they can lose passports, federal tax refunds, driver’s licenses and hunting privileges. They may also have a lien placed against their property and in some egregious cases can be incarcerated.

An Illinois parent who is not receiving agreed-upon child support may choose to file a child support case against the delinquent parent. After a court order has been issued, an Illinois family law attorney may be able to help pursue the recovery of unpaid amounts.

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