You are doing your best to raise your children and pay the bills but then you notice you stop receiving child support payments. You call your co-parent and there is no reply.
Weeks pass, and you still get no answer — and no support payments.
What are your next steps and how will the co-parent be held accountable?
According to the State of Illinois’ Non-Support Punishment Act, you will need to file an official complaint with the Department of Healthcare and Family Services.
Notice will be sent, and if unanswered, expect the following consequences to fall upon your co-parent:
- An indictment will be filed: An indictment will be filed if the co-parent willfully and without any lawful excuse refuses to pay support or if they leave the state with the intent to evade a support obligation.
- A conviction will be reached: If convicted of failure to support, the co-parent could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor or a Class 4 felony depending on the severity.
- Expungement: An opportunity for the co-parent to join the EarnFare program will be given, and a certification of completion is obtained, the conviction will be expunged.
- Fines: The co-parent can be fined up to $25,000 depending on the severity.
The severity of the charges and fines depends on the amount of child support owed and the length of time it has been delinquent. Also, if the co-parent has attempted to evade support by leaving the state, it is automatically a Class 4 Felony.
Matters concerning child support can be complicated
If you are receiving support and payments cease, or you have never received payment due to a co-parent refusing to comply, know that you have options. Never think you are alone. There is support always available to you if you are willing to seek it.