How Do I Collect Child Support if My Ex is Deported?

How Do I Collect Child Support if My Ex is Deported?

By: Gordon & Perlut, LLC

When a parent is deported under U.S. immigration laws, our child support lawyers in Chicago know how devastating that news can be to the child and parent remaining in the country in terms of receiving child support payments. Indeed, if the deported parent was already late on child support payments or had a history of failing to make child support payments, we know that you are likely worried about whether it will be possible to take any child support enforcement actions.

You might be wondering if there are other options for collecting child support in situations where the non-paying parent lives in another country and whether you are even able to collect child support if your ex is deported.

Just because your ex has been deported and is in another country does not mean that child support collections are impossible. The process of collecting child support will be more difficult and complex, but our experienced Chicago area child support attorneys can help. In the meantime, we want to provide you with more information about how child support collections work when a parent is outside the U.S.

Illinois Law Allows You to Seek Child Support Regardless of Where Your Ex is Located

You should know that Illinois child support laws under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) apply to your ex — to your child’s other parent — regardless of where that parent is located. When parents move out of state, sometimes in an attempt to avoid child support obligations, the Illinois child support order still applies and can be enforced against the non-paying parent.

As you might suspect, it is easier to enforce an Illinois child support order against a non-paying parent who is no longer in the state of Illinois but still resides within the U.S. The Uniform Federal Family Support Act allows all other U.S. states to enforce child support orders from Illinois (or from any other U.S. state).

The situation gets more complicated when a parent moves outside the U.S. or is deported to a foreign country. The deportation and the fact that the parent is living outside of the U.S. do not mean that the parent no longer has the child support obligation.

To be sure, no matter where the parent resides, the parent is legally responsible for a child support obligation entered in an Illinois court order. Yet it can be more difficult to enforce the order when the parent is in another country, as a result of deportation or otherwise.

Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) and International Child Support Cases

According to the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OSCE), the OSCE “is the U.S. Central Authority for international child support.” The Office collaborates with “states and countries to provide assistance to families seeking support when family members live in different countries.”

How does this work in practice? Not unlike the Uniform Federal Family Support Act that allows other states to collect on child support orders from different states, there are a variety of countries that have reciprocity agreements with the United States.

Generally speaking, those countries have reciprocity agreements with the U.S. as Hague Convention countries or as “foreign reciprocating countries” (FRCs).

Seek Advice from Our Child Support Lawyers in Chicago

If your ex has been deported, our Chicago area child support lawyers can determine whether your ex is in a country with which the U.S. has a reciprocity agreement, and we can begin the process of seeking to enforce your child support order. Contact Gordon & Perlut, LLC today to get started.