Some single parents in Illinois may find it difficult to raise their children on a single income salary. For those who rely on child support payments and often do not receive payments on time or at all, penalties for the delinquent party may be more severe in the near future.
Illinois State Representative Deb Conroy has filed a bill that would allow felony penalties to parents who do not pay child support, but are financially capable of doing so. Convoy said that the state of Illinois is one of the few states in the Midwest that currently does not press felony charges on parents who fail to make child support payments.
House Bill 5641 may impose felony criminal charges on offenders who fail to pay for a period of more than one year, or are in arrears of more than $15,000 in child support payments. In order to be criminally charged, that parent must have the financial ability to make payments. For now, the bill awaits it fate in before the House Judiciary Committee.
For those dealing with a parent or ex-spouse who refuses to pay child support, the court can subject that person to a number of penalties. For example, if a mother or father fails to make payments, he or she may have a driver’s license revoked, have property seized, have wages garnished or have federal tax refunds withheld and used to make child support payments. Child support enforcement can often include jail time or felony criminal charges, like Illinois may soon be facing.
As each situation is unique, proper legal guidance may help ensure the best possible outcome for all parties involved, especially the children. If HB 5641 passes, it will be one more incentive for those required to pay child support and a boon for parents in Illinois who are trying to create the best possible lives for their little ones.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “Rep. Conroy Files Bill to Strengthen Child Support Laws,” March 4, 2014