Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler, P.C.

What happens if you don't pay child support in Illinois

Money's tight and you're worried about paying the rent or mortgage, keeping your car and putting food on the table. Is skipping a child support payment or two an option?

Not really. Skipping a child support payment is a risky proposition under any circumstances. Parents are generally expected to pay their fair share of support for their children, and skipping a few payments could deprive your child of some essential needs.

Convinced that your ex-spouse can handle a missing payment or two because they're in a more financially stable position than you are right now? Consider this: Illinois can be very punitive about missing child support payments. Here are some of the ways that the state can come down on "deadbeat" parents:

  • Wage garnishments
  • Liens on your residential or business property
  • Bank account garnishment
  • Claims against your tax returns or other federal payments, including stimulus money
  • Revoking or suspending your driver's license
  • Revoking or suspending your professional license
  • Denial of your passport
  • Public shaming (by listing you on the "Deadbeat Parent" website maintained by the state
  • Civil contempt of court proceedings
  • Prosecution at either the state or federal level (depending on the circumstances)

In other words: You can't mess around with child support payments in Illinois.

You know you aren't actually a "deadbeat parent." You're just going through a rough time, financially. If that's the case, talk to an attorney about asking the court for a modification of your support order based on the change in your financial means. A formal order modifying the support you have to pay will keep you out of trouble with the state and help you overcome this difficult time.

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