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.