Despite threats, many deadbeat parents often go unprosecuted

It is understandable for Joliet residents to become frustrated with the seemingly slow pace of the legal system. With people’s lives and well-being at stake, it often appears things cannot move fast enough in order for litigants to find relief.

This is no different when it comes to those who are attempting to collect court ordered child support payments. By obtaining a court order for child support, a parent expects that the amount of child support identified in the order will be paid according to the procedure indicated.

This doesn’t always happen, however, and thus there are certain penalties for failure to pay child support that have been put in place. Perhaps the most extreme enforcement tool is to criminally prosecute non-payers, which some prosecutors have discussed. Yet, even those prosecutors have had trouble following through with these promises.

Despite many cases of nonpayment out there, prosecutors have noted the difficulty in making cases for collection. They say that a whole string of specific elements have to be met before the orders can be enforced, and at least one prosecutor says it can be nearly impossible to line up the necessary evidence to cover every element. Also, while judges in civil cases have the power to jail support payment violators, they often don’t because it only makes paying that much harder.

That’s little consolation for those on the receiving end of the required payments. Many say prosecutors and the courts are too lenient and that they’d rather see action taken against those who can pay but choose not to.

Anyone suffering because of unenforced child support payment may find assistance from an experienced family law attorney who can work with state child support services agencies to enforce orders. On the other side of that coin, an attorney can work with clients if modification of a child support order is needed.

Source: WIFR-TV, “Collecting child support from deadbeat parents,” Meghan Dwyer, Nov. 28, 2012

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Despite threats, many deadbeat parents often go unprosecuted