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DuPage County divorce enforcement lawyerIn divorce cases, child support or spousal maintenance payments are often ordered. If you have been awarded spousal support or child support, chances are you need those payments in order to provide for your family’s needs. In some cases, a spouse may not be consistent in making support payments, or he or she may refuse to pay them altogether. Not only can this be frustrating, but it can also result in serious legal ramifications for the non-paying spouse. Both types of support orders are legal court orders, meaning a person can face harsh consequences if they are not followed. Illinois courts have various ways of enforcing support orders when this becomes necessary.

Failure to Pay Support in Illinois

The state of Illinois does everything in its power to ensure that those who are required to pay spousal support or child support do so. There are several different ways a person can be held in contempt for failing to pay a support order, according to the Illinois Non-Support Punishment Act. A person may be found to be in contempt if he or she:

  • Willfully refuses to pay maintenance to his or her ex-spouse, with the knowledge that his or her ex needs such maintenance.

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DuPage County divorce attorney child support order modification

With U.S. unemployment numbers reaching historic highs over the last several months, many Illinois residents are finding themselves incapable of paying their child support and spousal support. Unfortunately, despite these extenuating circumstances and even if you are unemployed, you are still required to make these payments. Here are the consequences of failure to pay and what you can do if you know you will be unable to pay your spousal maintenance or child support by their due date.

What Happens If You Do Not Pay Child Support or Spousal Support?

If you neglect to pay the child support or spousal maintenance payments ordered by the court in your divorce decree, any or all of the following could happen:

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DuPage County divorce attorney spousal supportIf you have kids from a prior marriage, then you know that the divorce proceedings are hardly the last time you will hear from your former spouse. There are all sorts of things that you two must continue to work through, especially if your children are under the age of 18, including child supportparenting timeparental responsibilitiesspousal support, and much more. But how will this change if you decide to remarry? Will your new spouse be responsible for any of the parental responsibilities or child support? How will spousal support change? While at one time there was a clear-cut answer to all of these questions, in recent years, there is much more gray area when making some of these determinations in Illinois. The following is a look at how remarriage can change things after your divorce.

Remarriage and Its Impact on Divorce Obligations

With regards to spousal maintenance, the following is true in Illinois:

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DuPage County child support attorneyWhile it might be easy to assume that fathers usually end up being the ones paying child support after divorce, the truth these days is much more complicated than that. Although prior views of fathers being the primary breadwinners and mothers being the primary caregivers in the family dynamic were true for many years, this has become less and less common in this day and age. A look at the latest information proves that the times are certainly changing—as are the trends in child support and spousal support.

Latest Developments in Child and Spousal Support Defy Stereotypes

In 1979, the Supreme Court ruled that all alimony must be viewed as gender-neutral. This opened the door to men not always having to be the ones who are financially responsible for spousal maintenance payments after divorce. Since then, the latest developments in child support and spousal support payments alike have progressed in a way that defies stereotypes. For example:

  • The latest trends suggest that more and more women are paying some sort of support to men after divorce. Whether it is child support or spousal maintenance—or both—there has been an uptick in women paying money to their ex-husbands, as reported by many divorce attorneys over the last few years. This is representative of an overall shift in the economy, as not only are both men and women working full time despite being married and having kids, but in some cases, women are even becoming the primary breadwinners. In fact, Pew Research has found that mothers are the primary income earners in four out of 10 families in the United States.
  • As more women pay child support or spousal maintenance, more data is coming in to suggest that men are more likely to fulfill their financial obligations after divorces than women. Within the last decade, some data suggests that while about a quarter of all men failed to make their child support payments, close to 10% more women failed to make those same payments. In other words, the common stereotype of “deadbeat dads” is not always the case.

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Wheaton divorce and bankruptcy lawyerA recent survey found that 39% of people state that debt and other financial issues were a major factor that contributed to their divorce. It is no wonder that bankruptcy and divorce are so closely linked—not only can divorce itself often cost more money than many people expect, but the financial ramifications of the divorce are felt long after the proceedings are complete. From the division of marital debt to simply adjusting to living on a single income, life after divorce can get expensive. But that does not mean you have to file for bankruptcy. Here are some tips for keeping your finances in order after your marriage has ended:

6 Ways to Prevent Bankruptcy Following Divorce

While there are some things you can do to avoid bankruptcy that are common to just about any person, divorced or not, there are also some special things that you can do to protect yourself against bankruptcy when you are divorced. Some examples include:

  1. Increase Your Income—This is probably one of the very first tips a financial advisor will tell you if you are considering bankruptcy. Are there any ways for you to increase the money you make? The more money you have coming in, the less likely it will be that you will drown in debt. You may want to take on extra jobs (part time or otherwise), seek a promotion or a raise at work, rent out your house, sell your valuables, or borrow from family and friends if necessary.

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