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How is non-payment of child support handled in Illinois?

Illinois parents who get divorced may be ordered to pay child support or be due to receive child support depending upon the circumstances of their situations. The requirement to pay child support is a legal obligation intended to help the recipient parent meet the financial needs of children. It is to be used for anything from every day expenses to extracurricular expenses. The failure to pay child support can result in serious criminal charges. If you must pay or should receive child support, understanding this is important for you.

As outlined on the website of the Illinois General Assembly, the non-Support Punishment Act details what types of offenses and consequences a person can face for delinquent payments. Depending upon the amount of money not paid or the length of time that payments have been missed, a parent can be charged with either a Class A misdemeanor or a Class 4 Felony. People facing misdemeanor charges can be eligible for the state’s Earnfare program, the completion of which will result in an expungement.

Misdemeanor charges will be filed for cases in which support delinquencies are at least $5,000 or have been unpaid for at least six months. If the amount surpasses $20,000 or the duration extends passed one year, felony charges will be filed. Similarly, a person can be charged with a felony after leaving Illinois in an effort to avoid making support payments. This can happen if the amount owing is at least $10,000 or the unpaid term is at least six months.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but general information about what penalties a person may face for the non-payment of child support in Illinois.

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