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Children are both a pleasure and a commitment to Illinois parents. For separated parents, that commitment is split between custody and support. When both parents play their roles, that system works. When one does not or cannot, Illinois authorities will step in.

DMX, a famous rapper who owed approximately $1 million in back child support to his ex, is a good example. He failed to pay child support for over a decade, which is why he owes roughly $1 million dollars now. In response, authorities took DMX’s passport.

That seemed like the prod DMX needed because he reportedly has settled the case for an undisclosed amount. As part of the settlement, DMX made a substantial payment to his ex.

Following the settlement and payout, authorities gave DMX back his passport. He is now touring in Europe.

What is not clear, however, is why DMX fell so far behind in his child support payments. If he had good reasons for the failure, such as lean years in which his child support obligation was simply too high relative to his income, he could have asked a court to reduce his obligation. This happens often for individuals who have inconsistent incomes, such as business owners and performers.

DMX’s case also highlights that Illinoisans owed back child support can get help from the government. This help can come in the form of taking the other parent’s passport, but that is hardly the only option available. The government can also garnish wages, suspend the parent’s license, intercept tax refunds or place liens on the parent’s Illinois-based property.

Family law, especially child support can be complicated. Illinoisans struggling with child support, either because the amount is too high or because the other parent is not paying it, despite the ability to do so, may benefit from discussing their case with an experienced family law attorney.

Source: United Press International, “DMX settles $1M child support case,” Dec. 28, 2013