When one party fails to pay child support, it causes an extreme hardship upon the recipient and the child. Child support is a very serious thing in Illinois. The courts take the obligation to pay child support very seriously, and they will hold payers in contempt of court if they refuse to pay. I have even seen people sent to jail for failure to pay child support.
The way to handle child support is to have it come directly out of the payer’s paycheck, if possible. Not everyone is working at a job where they can pay child support directly out of their paycheck. In many cases, the person might be on commission, a person might work part-time jobs, the person might work cash jobs, and you simply don’t have the ability to have the money come directly out of his or her paycheck.
If you find that the party is not paying
child support pursuant to the judgment or court order, then you should quickly
and swiftly bring that person back into court on what’s known as a Rule to Show
Cause. A Rule to Show Cause is simply stating that you should be held in contempt for violating that court order unless you can show cause to the judge why you should not be held in contempt. In other words, do you have a valid reason for not paying support?
In many cases, sometimes the valid reason
is a loss of income, a loss of job, a loss of the livelihood. In those situations, the court wants to make sure that you, as the payer, are doing your obligation to seek other employment
so that you can pay your child support. The court might order you to keep a job log diary, whereby you have to inquire about particular jobs and show to the court that you have made an effort to get employment.
If you have the ability to show that you
have tried to get employment, then the court will likely put the case over for
several weeks, to give you an opportunity to come back into court and show that
you have either attempted to further find employment or that you have paid your
child support and you’re about ready to make the monthly payment again.
What I see in many cases is recipients
simply wait too long to bring the party back into court. They sometimes feel that if they push the issue back in court, then the other party is not going to exercise visitation, or take an interest in other things that the judgment says they should do. In other cases, people just don’t have the money to come back in court and try and hold their payer in contempt. What I recommend is do your best to get back in court as quick as possible, through a
competent attorney, so you can start receiving the child support that you deserve.
Once the party gets back working, or once
you get a court order that he or she has to continue to pay, there can be a
current support payment and an additional support payment that goes towards the
part that they fell behind, and that’s usually approximately 20 percent of what
the normal child support amount is. Seek counsel when seeking to hold your payer in contempt for failure to pay child support. Don’t try to do this alone.