A common problem in a dispute over child support in Illinois is if a supporting parent fails to make the payments on time and in full for any reason. Delinquent child support is a constant issue that can result in a litany of penalties including jail time. There is rampant disagreement as to whether putting a supporting parent in jail is an actual deterrent and does any good. Another issue is if the father is in jail for another reason, should the child support be ongoing even if he has no means of paying it while incarcerated?
For example, if the parent is incarcerated and cannot work, the question could be asked as to how this is helping the child. One state lawmaker has examined this matter and is trying to change the law. The issue stems from men who are incarcerated and forced to pay child support during that time. When they are finally released they have nothing left. The goal on the part of the lawmaker is to put child support on hold while they are in jail.
Fathers who are trying to avoid jail for failure to pay child support frequently find themselves in a vicious cycle of legal trouble as some will go to the lengths of committing other crimes to get the money to pay the child support. When they are arrested and convicted, their family law issues are compounded by criminal problems. The proposed bill will not only freeze the support payments during incarceration, but it will also put interest rates on hold. The Department of Healthcare and Family Services agree with the idea.
As of now, the law in the state requires supporting parents to make their payments regardless of their circumstances. If they do not, there are penalties that can come about including jail time. Obviously, it behooves supporting parents to make their payments when they are supposed to. Custodial parents rely on the payments for the child. When there is an issue with the payments in any way, the first step is to contact an attorney experienced in family law for assistance with the matter to try and settle it. This is true for both parents no matter their situation.
Source: illinoishomepage.net, “Child support payments on hold,” Emilee Fannon, May 25, 2017