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When Deadbeat Parents Avoid Paying Child Support

father and daughter, divorceA Lake County divorce attorney may help to hold deadbeat parents accountable and to help collect the delinquent amounts that are owed to his or her clients.

Collecting Support From Deadbeat Parents

The family law court may impose various sanctions in order to secure payment of the obligations that are owed. If a support order is violated, a family law attorney may file a petition asking the court to find the non-paying parent to be in civil contempt of court and to impose sanctions; the usual sanction is a sentence, either to jail or to a work-release program, which can be lifted when payment is made. In addition, liens may be placed on homes, cars, and other property of the deadbeats. In order to remove the liens, the non-paying parent will first have to pay the arrearage.

One punishment that doesn’t require a finding of contempt is the suspension of the driver’s license for any parent who is 90 days or more in arrears. If the deadbeat parent has a retirement account or a pension, a Lake County divorce attorney may prepare a qualified domestic relations order, which will allow the seizure of a portion of the retirement or pension account balance in order to repay what the deadbeat parent owes. Lottery and out-of-state gambling winnings may be seized to repay child support obligations. In certain cases, people may be prevented from getting passports, may have their vehicles impounded, and may lose their licenses to hunt and fish.

Both Illinois and the federal government take the obligation to pay child support very seriously. Parents who are owed child support have several avenues to collect what they are owed even if the balances are old. Parents whose financial circumstances have changed to such an extent that they are struggling to meet their child support obligations should file motions to modify their child support amounts with the courts holding jurisdiction over their cases. A Lake County divorce attorney may help clients with modifying their child support amounts when doing so is necessary.