Many Illinois parents will agree that one of the most difficult aspects of divorce is determining child custody and child support. When the ultimate child custody determination is made, it is often up to the courts to decide how much child support, if any is owed to a parent. What is often the most difficult hurdle in the child support arena comes after divorce and involves the actual collection of funds owed.
The state of Illinois has struggled with collecting child support from unpaying parents. According to some experts, Illinois is one of the worst states in the nation at collecting back-owed child support. Some ex-spouses are struggling to collect thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars in support. While there are laws and penalties in place for parents that don’t pay, there is also some trouble with enforcement.
According to experts, the best way to obtain child support is by automatically deducting the amount owed from a bank account. However, for one reason or another, this tactic does not always work. When a parent back-owes a substantial amount in child support, they do face jail time, license revocation and other penalties. Yet, given that these penalties often make the collection of child support worse, the system often tries to avoid implementing the penalties. Specifically, when a parent can no longer drive or is jailed, they cannot work, thus hindering their ability to pay child support. So the courts prolong implementing such penalties.
Additionally there are sometimes jurisdictional issues which hinder the Court’s power over an offender. For example, if a parent moves out of state, it is harder for the Court to force payment by implementing penalties.
With these complicated issues surrounding child support in mind, it is important to ensure one obtains proper legal representation when facing divorce in to ensure all proper cautionary procedures are in place in order to best avoid future collection issues. The Law Office of Ronald L. Bell can provide knowledgeble, experienced representation in all matters of family law.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “Child support challenges courts in Illinois,” Lisa Black, Oct. 25, 2013.
Tags: Child support, jail, penalties