Photo of Karen Lavin

Sometimes, the fairy tale does not last. Sometimes, the story does not end with, “happily ever after.” Sometimes, boy meets girl does not end well. But, if the legacy of that relationship is an Illinois baby, each parent has obligations that survive long after the relationship has come to an end. One of those obligations is child support.

Parents who must pay child support need to do so regularly. Those payments generally do not go directly to the other parent, but to the Illinois State Disbursement Unit, P.O. Box 5400, Carol Stream, Illinois 60197-5400.

Those payments need to include more than just money. They also have to include the following: (1) the name of the court that entered the child-support order; (2) the case number; (3) the obligor’s name and (4) the obligor’s Social Security Number.

However, not every parent makes each payment on time. When the late payments start adding up, the state may send a notice to the parent that the state will issue a lien on personal property or suspend the parent’s passport or driver’s license. In these cases, the parent’s payment should go to the same place and include the same information. The parent should also note the enforcement remedy mentioned in the back child-support notice.

Although figuring out where to send child-support payments is generally straightforward, many other child-support questions are not so easy. Illinoisans encountering one of these issues may benefit from picking up the phone or heading over to the office of an experienced family-law attorney. Doing so could be the first move towards resolving a tricky situation.

Source:, “Child Support Services Frequently Asked Questions,” accessed on Dec. 16, 2014