The most responsible parents in Illinois sometimes lose their jobs, face unexpected expenses, or deal with other challenging circumstances that cause them to fall behind on their child support. Unfortunately, missing child support payments can cause a snowball of debt to quickly accumulate, threatening not only your financial stability but that of your children as well. If you are facing sanctions for unpaid child support, meet with an attorney who can help you explore your options, including requesting a child support modification from an Illinois court.
What Happens if You Miss Child Support Payments?
The first consequence of unpaid child support is the interest a court may charge, starting 30 days after child support is unpaid. While interest is no longer automatically applied in cases managed by DHFS, interest can be calculated for every missed payment, continues to accrue as long as the support remains unpaid, and is paid to the parent receiving child support payments. Other consequences of not paying child support on time include, but are not limited to:
Unfortunately, for parents who are in child support arrears, these consequences make it even harder to catch up on payments.
Can I Take Out Private Loans To Pay Child Support?
The State of Illinois does not care where the funds for child support come from (and neither does your child’s other parent, in all likelihood). While the idea of taking out a loan for child support may be unpleasant and expensive, it can remove the risk of incurring the negative consequences for unpaid child support. Whether taking out a loan makes sense for you depends on your financial situation.
Can I Ask the Court to Lower Child Support Payments?
If you have experienced a substantial change in circumstances, you may be able to successfully petition a court to modify your child support payments. Job loss, reduced income, or a serious health condition that interferes with your ability to work may all be successful reasons for changing child support payments. Getting remarried or struggling to manage unrelated private debt are usually considered voluntary acts that are unlikely to reduce child support payments.
If you have not experienced a substantial change in circumstances but it has been at least three years since your child support order was last ordered or modified, you may still be able to successfully petition for a change in payments. An Illinois family law attorney can help you explore your options and plan a course of action.
Contact a Wheaton, IL Child Support Attorney
Child support can be an enormous financial burden. Even when you love your children and want to support them, the DHFS bureaucracy can make it very difficult to recover from unpaid child support debt. For help managing your child support payments or petitioning for lower payments, contact a DuPage County child support lawyer with Andrew Cores Family Law Group. You do not have to stay trapped under your debt forever. Call us today at 630-871-1002.