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Having a child is a wonderful moment, but it also creates lasting responsibilities. For example, Illinois parents have an obligation to provide food, clothing and shelter for their children. Unfortunately, when parents split, some parents stop meeting their obligations, including obligations to pay child support.

Take, for instance, a recent case in which a Cook County judge recently issued an arrest warrant after an Illinois father did not appear for a child support hearing. The father is a South Side rapper who goes by the name “Chief Keef.” The hearing was regarding alleged back child support Chief Keef allegedly owed to his daughter’s mother. Chief Keef reportedly owes more than $10,000 in back child support.

Chief Keef’s situation raises an important question for parents who are owed back child support: what to do when the other parent is not living up to their end of the deal. When that happens, Illinois residents should go to the courts seeking an enforcement action. In that action, custodial parents must show they are entitled to child support, but have not been receiving it.

Once an Illinois resident has shown they are owed back child support, courts will attempt to collect the back child support. Courts have a variety of ways to do that. One way is by having the non-custodial parent’s employer withhold the child support from that parent’s paycheck. Another approach is by intercepting the non-custodial parent’s tax refund or other benefits, such as Social Security checks or lottery winnings. Or, when all else fails, another option is putting the non-custodial parent in jail.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “Arrest warrant for Chief Keef in child support case,” Kim Geiger, July 14, 2014