Not every parenting and child support situation is ideal. You may have been saddled with a child support bill that is more than you can afford. You may also feel unfairly targeted to pay support for a child you rarely see. At Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C., we understand you may be in a difficult position right now and need help dealing with this child support order. Call us today to learn more about the potential consequences of not paying court-ordered support and how we can help you modify the current child support order or parenting time and responsibilities.
The Child Support Collections Process
When your other child’s parent attempts to collect child support, you can expect a fairly routine process. After not paying the ordered support amount for weeks or months, you will be summoned to court. You will also receive documents requiring you to submit your income information to the court. This may include providing copies of your previous year’s tax return and pay stubs.
If you do not provide the information requested or appear in court, you can expect the child support collections process to be much tougher on you than it has to be. Not only will your lack of cooperation look bad to the judge, it can also lead to your being arrested.
Consequences of Not Paying Child Support
If you are behind on child support and continue to refuse to pay, the court can take certain actions to obtain the money and punish you. Some of the most common consequences of not voluntarily paying child support include:
- Wage garnishment: A court can order that your wages are garnished, which means the child support is automatically taken from your paychecks and paid to the other parent. If you are behind on payments, usually the amount withdrawn will be more than what you owe until you catch up. Once you are no longer in arrears, only the amount you owe each month will be withheld.
- Garnishment of a bank account: If you have money in the bank, your child’s other parent can ask the court to garnish your account. This could be in addition to or in place of a wage garnishment.
- Loss of your tax refund: If you are in arrears a significant amount, the court can order any tax refund you get from the federal or state government go to your child’s other parent.
- Loss of your license: If you are more than 90 days behind on child support payments, Illinois allows the courts to request the Secretary of State (SOS) to suspend your driver’s license. You will receive notice of this suspension and can usually avoid it by paying all past-due support. A suspension may remain in effect until you have paid what you owe and petition the SOS to have your license reinstated. The court can also order the denial or revocation of a professional, occupation, or recreational license.
- Being denied a U.S. passport: The consequences of unpaid child support can go beyond your driver’s, professional, and recreational licenses. You can also have your passport denied or suspended.
- Guilty of contempt: If you do not show up to court or show up without having obeyed all parts of the court order, including paying support or providing information, then you can be found guilty of contempt of court and imprisoned.
- Criminal charges: Under the Illinois Non-Support Punishment Act, you can be charged with a crime for willfully not paying your court-ordered child support. Once you are 6 months or more than $5,000 behind, then you may be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor. If you are in arrears more than $10,000, you can be charged with a felony.
Let Our DuPage County Child Support Lawyers Help You
At Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C., we understand child support is not the moral issue many people make it out to be. There are many reasons why you may fight back against a child support order or get behind on payments. We are here to support you and help. Call us today at 630-961-0060 or use the online contact form to schedule an initial consultation.