Child Support Arrears
If you owe past-due child support in Illinois, or if you are owed such support by your ex, you may wonder what courts can do to enforce payment. In our state, the consequences of not paying child support can be severe.
If you owe or are owed child support, the divorce lawyers at Manassa, Stassen & Vaclavek, P.C., recommend you seek legal advice as soon as possible. With offices in Barrington, Crystal Lake, St. Charles, Oakbrook Terrace and Deerfield, we serve clients throughout the Chicago metropolitan area of Illinois.
If you cannot pay child support due to job loss or another reason, it is important to seek a child support modification to change your support order rather than miss payments. Verbal agreements regarding child support may not be enforceable. Unlike many other types of debt, unpaid child support cannot be discharged by filing bankruptcy.
Our Attorneys Advise Clients On Illinois Child Support Law
In Illinois, a court can issue a separate judgment each time a parent fails to pay child support. If the court finds you are in substantial violation of your child support order, it can ask for an interest of 9 percent on the arrearage. In addition, the court may find you guilty of contempt. If you are found guilty of contempt, you could face sanctions such as jail time. If you are more than 90 days delinquent in child support payments, the court may suspend your driver's license until you comply with the order.
For a court to hold you in contempt, it must find that the violation is willful. If the violation is not willful, you may still owe the money, but you will not be held in contempt.
There are two defenses to a contempt action in a child support action:
• Equitable estoppel, which means that your ex should not be entitled to an unfair advantage. For example, if you and your spouse changed your child custody arrangement, but did not change the court order, it may be unfair to continue paying the same amount of child support.
• Promissory estoppel, which means there was an implied promise your ex would not make a request for child support.
Contact Our Child Support Lawyers
Call 815-384-2238, 847-282-4051 or 630-412-1178 or email us at your earliest convenience to schedule a free initial consultation about child support arrears.
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