Reeder & Brown, P.C.



Plainfield child and spousal support enforcement lawyers

Lawyers in Joliet Discuss How to Handle Unpaid Child or Spousal Support

When a person who is subject to an order for spousal maintenance or child support fails to comply with his or her obligations, the intended recipient may quickly experience financial difficulties. A parent who should be receiving child support may have trouble paying for the child's food, housing, and other necessary expenses, while a financially disadvantaged spouse may struggle to make ends meet for himself or herself. To prevent these types of issues, a person who fails to meet their court-ordered requirements to pay support could face serious consequences.

At the law firm of Reeder & Brown, P.C. in Will County, Illinois, our attorneys understand that anyone can experience financial trouble. However, we also know how important it is for ordered payors to comply with their obligations. If your former partner has fallen behind on child support or maintenance payments, you should seek help right away. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be for the paying party to get caught up. If you are the one struggling to meet your support obligations, we can assist you in exploring your available options as well.

Managing Non-Payment Concerns in Bolingbrook and Mokena

If your ex-spouse is responsible for paying support but has not been making payments in accordance with the established court orders, it is important that you take action quickly. This applies in cases where payments are routinely late or incomplete or in situations where they have stopped altogether. There are a number of ways to address the problem, the most common of which include:

  • Communicate with the paying party directly. Depending on your relationship with your former partner, you may consider reaching out to him or her to find out what has caused the non-payment issue. If you do reach out, keep in mind that he or she is still legally obligated to follow the court order. You do not have the authority to excuse missed payments. Keep detailed records of your communication and put everything in writing. If you have a child together, it is important that you do not restrict the other parent from spending parenting time with your child because of payment issues. If you attempt to retaliate against the other parent and limit their time with the child, you could also face penalties for violating the court's orders.
  • Seek help from state agencies. If the missed payments are for spousal support, this option may not be appropriate, but the Illinois Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) offers assistance to recipient parents who are not getting the child support payments they should be receiving. State agencies such as DCSS, however, tend to be overworked and understaffed, and it can often take a long time to get results.
  • Contact a support order enforcement lawyer. When you need help obtaining the maintenance or child support the law says you should be receiving, speaking to an attorney may be your best option. At Reeder & Brown, P.C., we have significant experience helping Illinois residents enforce support orders. We have handled many challenging support cases, and we are equipped to help you resolve non-payment issues quickly and efficiently.

Naperville Attorneys Helping Clients Get Caught Up on Missed Payments

Compliance with a court-issued support order is not optional. If you have been ordered to make monthly support payments, you must make them. Any missed payments will continue to be owed until they are paid in full, and interest will usually be applied to the past-due amounts. If you fail to make your payments, you will likely be ordered to attend a hearing to "show cause," during which you will have the chance to explain why you are not complying with your support order. Depending on the circumstances and your reasons for non-payment, the court could:

  • Order wage withholding for support or increase the amount being withheld.
  • Develop a payment plan for you to get caught up.
  • Require you to provide monthly statements regarding your income if you are self-employed.
  • Order you to find a new or additional job if you are unemployed or underemployed.
  • Issue a judgment against you for your arrearages and place liens on any property you own.
  • Intercept your federal and state tax refunds and apply them to the amount you owe in support.
  • Suspend your driver's license.
  • Order you to perform community service, pay fines, or serve time in jail if you are found in contempt of court for willful failure to pay despite having the means to meet your obligations.

It is important to remember that a hearing to show cause is intended to deal with the issue of non-payment only. If you are seeking a modification of your support order due to a change in your circumstances, you will need to file a separate request. You will still be responsible for your missed payments even if a modification is granted. However, if modifications are granted, the changes may be retroactive to the date that the modification request was filed. Our lawyers will work closely with you to ensure that you fully understand your responsibilities and obligations, as well as your rights under the law.

Contact Our Joliet Support Enforcement Attorneys

For more information about managing support non-payment issues, contact our office. Call 815-885-5980 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of the team at Reeder & Brown, P.C. today. We represent clients in Joliet, Plainfield, Bolingbrook, Naperville, New Lenox, Lockport, Mokena, Crest Hill, Romeoville, Homer Glen, Aurora, and throughout Will County.

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