If you fail to comply with an order to pay child support, you can be held in contempt of court. In addition to other penalties provided by law the Court may, after finding the parent guilty of contempt, order that the parent be: (1) placed on probation with such conditions of probation as the Court deems advisable; (2) sentenced to periodic imprisonment for a period not to exceed 6 months; provided, however, that the Court may permit the parent to be released for periods of time during the day or night to: (A) work; or (B) conduct a business or other self-employed occupation.
The Court may further order any part or all of the earnings of a parent during a sentence of periodic imprisonment paid to the Clerk of the Circuit Court or to the parent having custody or to the guardian having custody of the children of the sentenced parent for the support of said children until further order of the Court.
You can be prosecuted criminally and be put in jail for a criminal offense.
In addition to the civil penalties or punishment that may be imposed, any person whose conduct constitutes a violation of Section 15 of the Non-Support Punishment Act [750 ILCS 16/15] may be criminally prosecuted under that Act. In short, a person commits the offense of failure to support when they willfully fail to pay support but have the ability to do so, or if a person leaves the State with the intent to evade a support obligation (if the obligation has remained unpaid for a period longer than 6 months, or is in arrears in an amount greater than $ 10,000). There is a legal presumption that you have the ability to pay support. You can be sentenced to anything from a misdemeanor or a Class 4 felony depending on the circumstances of your case. You can also be fined, and may be ordered to perform community service under Section 50 of that Act [750 ILCS 16/50] or participate in a work alternative program under Section 50 of that Act.
You will pay more because of interest and fines.
A support obligation, or any portion of a support obligation, which becomes due and remains unpaid as of the end of each month, excluding the child support that was due for that month to the extent that it was not paid in that month, shall accrue simple interest as set forth in Section 12-109 of the Code of Civil Procedure [735 ILCS 5/12-109].
Additionally, the Court may, in certain circumstances, order business assets of the non-paying parent to be applied towards payment of child support. A lien arises by operation of law against the real and personal property of the noncustodial parent for each installment of overdue support owed by the noncustodial parent.
You can have your driver's license suspended.
In cases where the parent is 90 days or more delinquent in payment of support or has been adjudicated in arrears in an amount equal to 90 days obligation or more, the Court may order the parent's Illinois driving privileges be suspended until the court determines that the parent is in compliance with the order of support. The court may also order that the parent be issued a family financial responsibility driving permit that would allow limited driving privileges for employment and medical purposes in accordance with Section 7-702.1 of the Illinois Vehicle Code [625 ILCS 5/7-702.1].
You cannot get a U.S. Passport.
Finally, if you owe over $2,500 of arrears in child support, you cannot get a U.S. passport.
Additional resources provided by the author
If you find yourself in trouble for not paying child support, consider hiring an attorney who specializes in this area of law.
George Pecherek & Associates, P.C.
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