Can I be Put in Jail for Not Paying Child Support in Illinois?

Can I be Put in Jail for Not Paying Child Support in Illinois?

By: Gordon & Perlut, LLC

In cases of divorced or unmarried parents, having a valid child support order in place is vitally important. In addition to helping to ensure parents get timely payments and the maximum amount they are entitled to and need to provide for their child, it also gives them legal recourse in the event the other parent fails to pay their share.

Child support enforcement is a serious matter in Illinois. The Chicago and Skokie child support attorneys at Gordon & Perlut, LLC explains how child support is calculated and the penalties you could face for non-payment, which includes a potentially lengthy jail sentence.

Determining Child Support In Skokie

Under the Illinois Statutes (750 ILCS 5/505), the state goes by an income shares model to determine child support amounts, using the following formula:

  • Net monthly income for each parent is added together. For example, say one parent makes $500 and the other makes $1,500, which totals $2,000.
  • The percent each parent contributes is determined. In our example, one parent makes 25 percent of the combined net income and the other makes 75 percent.
  • Each party’s child support obligation is calculated. Using this example, the portion allotted to the parent who makes $500 per month would be $108 and the other parent would be $324. (This is just an estimate. Other factors are likely to apply).

What if you are unable to find a job or work under the table-do you still have to pay child support? Yes. The court will impute an amount, based on your skills, experience, and prior earnings. If you continue to not pay, you can be held in contempt of court.

Penalties For Not Paying Child Support In Illinois

Under state laws, parents have a legal duty to provide financially for their children. Can you be put in jail for not paying child support in Illinois? The answer is a resounding yes. It can and does happen on a regular basis. You can be put in jail for contempt of court and may remain there until you pay any outstanding child support amounts owed. You can also be subject to other penalties both through the state and through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). These include:

  • Garnishment of wages through your employer
  • Seizure of assets in bank accounts
  • Liens on the property you own
  • Seizure of unemployment or VA benefits
  • Seizure of income tax refunds
  • Seizure of state lottery winnings or other funds
  • Suspension of drivers and professional license
  • Suspension of your U.S. passport

Discuss Your Case With Our Skokie Child Support Attorney

Failure to pay child support is a serious matter that could result in a jail sentence. Rather than refusing to pay, let Gordon & Perlut, LLC help you make more reasonable arrangements. To request a free, initial consultation to discuss your case, please call the Chicago and Skokie child support attorneys at Gordon & Perlut today.