If you are an Illinois parent who is divorced or is getting divorced, understanding how child support payments work and are enforced is important for you. The amount of money that can be required to be paid is typically determined by a formula based upon the paying parent’s income and the number of children. But, what happens when the person required to make child support payments fails to do so?
The Illinois General Assembly explains that these cases involve the failure to pay child support are governed by the Non-support Punishment Act. This act also governs the non-support of spousal support. Such a case can be prosecuted by state attorneys or the state Attorney General depending upon the circumstances. Fines can range from $1,000 to $25,000. A first offense is treated as a Class A misdemeanor while any subsequent offenses are handled as Class 4 felonies.
There are multiple situations that can be deemed prosecutable non-payment of support. These include leaving the state in order to avoid paying support and child desertion or refusal to financially support one’s child. The choice to not pay child support as ordered by a court when there is a presumed ability to make such payments can also lead to prosecution. An existing court order for support can be used to determine that the person does have the ability to pay the required support.
You can learn more about spousal support and child support payments and non-payments by visiting our Illinois divorce and maintenance website.