Delinquent child support payments spell trouble for parents owing the support and the many children who depend on them. Nationwide, parents that do not take responsibility for their children place a heavy burden on custodial parents, government agencies and taxpayers. When parents do fail to comply with a court order or respond to a summons, states will often track them down one way or another.
Arrested for Not Paying Child Support
Recently, 35 ‘deadbeat parents’ were rounded up and arrested for failure to pay child support, as part of New Jersey’s statewide push to collect nearly a million dollars in arrears. The state hopes that the operation will remind parents who owe child support to make timely payments because many children depend on child support for basic needs such as food, shelter, healthcare and clothing.
States and Counties Outing Parents Behind on Child Support
In Illinois, parents owing $5,000 or more in past-due child support may find themselves featured on the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Child Support Services website, or closer to home, The Lake County Sheriff’s Office’s Deadbeat Parents List, also accessible online. Both websites provide names, photos (if available), and amounts owed by Illinois parents that have fallen behind on child support payments, some to the tune of over half a million dollars.
Changing the Amount of Child Support Owed
Certainly, in some cases, parents owing child support simply move on, ignoring their obligation. However, in other cases, it may be a change in financial circumstances that led to accumulation of delinquent payments, which the parent may have avoided by seeking a modification of the child support order.
In fact, either parent can ask the court to change the amount of child support if there has been a substantial change in circumstances. It may be a decrease or increase in the paying parent’s income, an increase in the needs of the child, a case where the child does not live with the custodial parent receiving payments or that the child has turned 18. There are many valid reasons for changing an order.
Job Loss and Child Support
If it is a case of a parent’s inability to pay child support because of a job loss or other hardship, seeking the help of a family law attorney to request an adjustment to the payments is key. Until a modification has been granted, the ‘meter’ keeps running according to the most recent court order. Delaying could result in the accumulation of significant debt.
Conversely, if you suspect that your ex-spouse is under-reporting their income following a divorce, you may wish to have the child support or spousal maintenance enhanced to the benefit of the custodial parent and the children. Raising kids is expensive, after all, and both parents should contribute as able.
Illinois Divorce Lawyer
To make sure your divorce decree, spousal maintenance order or child support order is up to date, seek the assistance of our Libertyville divorce modification lawyer, Ronald L. Bell. Our firm has represented individuals and families in a variety of family law matters, leveraging our experience, knowledge and skill to resolve legal issues effectively. If you have questions regarding a post decree modification for the purposes of increasing or decreasing a child support order or spousal maintenance, contact the Law Offices of Ronald L. Bell, PC. for help today.
Source: Patch.com, “35 Parents Arrested For Failure To Pay Child Support: Sheriff”, by Alex Tarrazi, September 29, 2016.