Pesce Law Group, P.C.


Naperville | Oak Brook | Burr Ridge | Lake Forest | St. Charles

What Happens if I Do Not Pay My Child Support?

Posted on in Child Support

DuPage County child support lawyersWhen a couple with children either is not married when they have the child or later gets divorced, the parent with less parental responsibility is often required to pay child support. The purpose of child support payments are to help the custodial parent, the one with a greater share of parenting time and responsibility, cover the costs associated with raising the child. The ultimate goal of support payments is to help the child enjoy the same quality of life as he or she would have enjoyed if his or her parents were together. But, what happens when a parent does not pay his or her court-order child support?

Deadbeat Parents and Child Support Nonpayment

Depending on the circumstances, nonpayment of child support can be a serious violation of a court order. Parents who simply choose not to pay their court-ordered support can be held in contempt of the court. These so-called “deadbeat” parents are regarded differently under the law than those parents who make an attempt to comply with the law but cannot afford their support payments. This is why it is imperative that parents who cannot afford their child support payments notify the court of this problem immediately.

What to Do If You Know You Cannot Make Your Child Support Payment

Section 510 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act outlines the rules for child support nonpayment. According to the law, “Support may be modified as to installments accruing subsequent to due notice by the moving party of the filing of the motion for modification.” This means that parents can petition the court to modify their child support obligation by filing a “Petition to Modify Support.” In addition to notifying the court, parents who cannot make their support payment must also notify the other parent or recipient of support.

Consequences of Not Paying Your Child Support

Simply stopping child support payments without formally notifying the court or the support recipient can result in steep fines, wage garnishment, community service, or even jail time. Child support orders in Illinois are typically enforced by state courts, but in some situations, Illinois child support orders  may be enforced by federal law. Parents who willfully refuse to pay their child support for over six months or have more than $10,000 due may face criminal punishments.

Ask a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

If you cannot pay your child support or have other questions about child custody or support, contact a knowledgeable Naperville family lawyer from The Pesce Law Group, P.C. Call us today at 630-352-2240 to schedule your cost-free initial consultation.



Back to Top