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How to seek enforcement of a child support order in Illinois

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Dealing with a deadbeat parent that has once again failed to come through in paying his or her child support is frustrating. If your case is currently being handled by the Office of Support Enforcement, then they will be the ideal source for pursuing enforcement of child support. However, if you are not, then going through the court system will be necessary.

When going in front of a judge to seek that he or she enforces a child support order, it is important that you are able to adequately prove just how much is owed in the arrears. If you're lucky enough to receive payments of child support though the Illinois State Disbursement Unit, then you can easily obtain all payments received along with outstanding balances on your child's account.

Likewise, if payments are made through a court clerk's office, a request can be made through the clerk for those same records. However, if you happen to receive direct payments person-to-person, you have to be able to document that you indeed did not receive the required child support payment as court-ordered.

Once necessary documentation is gathered that proves that the non-custodial parent has lapsed in paying child support, it's then that a Notice to Withhold Income can be sent to the paying parent's employer though the State Disbursement Unit (SDU). Once approved, the employer will deduct that amount for their employee's paycheck and send it to the SDU, who will then turn it over to the recipient parent.

In cases in which measures like the aforementioned do not result in compliance with the judge's order, a parent can request that the judge hold the other parent in contempt of court. In doing so, the parent is required to first fill out a Petition for a Rule to Show Cause.

Barring the paying parent being able to justify why he or she failed to pay, whether it be because of a loss of a job or something else, the defendant will be given one last ultimatum from the court to pay support due in the arrears plus 9 percent interests or face jail time.

If you are looking to have a child support order enforced, a McHenry, Illinois, family law attorney can provide you with the necessary advice to move forward in your case.

Source:, "Enforcing my child support order," accessed March 31, 2017

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