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Wheaton, IL child support attorney for past-due support obligationsChild support payments are intended to provide a parent with the financial support he or she needs to cover housing, education, and other child-related costs. Illinois has adopted the “Income Shares” model for child support calculations. The amount a parent pays in child support in Illinois is typically based on the difference between the parents’ net incomes. This calculation method is designed to ensure that payments provide for the child’s needs and are reasonably affordable for the paying parent or “obligor.” However, circumstances can change, and obligor parents may find themselves in a situation where they cannot fulfill their child support obligations. If you are a parent who has fallen behind on child support payments in Illinois, you may wonder what types of consequences you may face. You may also question whether there is anything you can do to remedy the situation.

Child Support Arrears

Past due child support, or “child support arrears,” can cause significant legal problems for an obligor parent. Child support orders are legally enforceable court orders. If you fail to comply with the order, you may face a variety of consequences, including wage garnishment, liens on your property, interception of your tax returns, suspension of your driver’s license, and more. You may even be held in contempt of court.

Options for Illinois Parents Who Owe Child Support

If you cannot afford your child support payments because you lost your job, suffered a major injury or illness, or had other financial problems, you may wonder what to do next. The worst thing you can do is ignore the situation. You should contact your child’s other parent as well as the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) Child Support Services and notify them of the situation. You may be able to reduce your child support obligation through a child support modification. However, this modification will only reduce the amount you will pay in new payments. You will still need to pay back the past due child support plus interest.

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Illinois child support lawyersIn the aftermath of a divorce, both parties have a lot to contemplate: where will I live, will I be financially comfortable, what will happen to my children? In a large number of divorce cases involving children, one parent is granted primary custody of the children involved. For most of the parents granted primary custody of their children, receiving child support payments from their former spouse can make all the difference in ensuring a healthy financial future.

Tragically, less than 70% of all child support payments owed, are actually received by the spouse in need. If you are owed child support payments and your former spouse is unwilling to comply, it may be time to consider seeking the help of a team of legal professionals.

U.S. Child Support Statistics

In 2013 alone, over $32 billion in child support were owed to primary custody parents, throughout the United States. While many people falsely believe that child support payments are incredibly high and can be crippling to the spouse making the payments, the average annual child support payment is approximately $5,775, per year. That ultimately results to less than $500 per month in child support payments. Child support payments can make the ultimate difference in a child’s life, but many parents neglect to do their part. According to the United States Census Bureau, one in four primary custody parents awarded child support never receive the payments they are owed.

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