Law Office of Dawn R. Underhill
When Joliet residents go through a divorce, often one of the most important issues to be decided is the custody and visitation of the parties’ children. Along with those decisions comes the matter of determining child support payments for the noncustodial parent. While this can be done by an agreement between the parents, it is typically necessary for a child support order to be entered by a court.
The child support order includes the terms of the child support matter, such as instructing a party to make periodic child support payments in a certain amount. The order usually identifies the paying party and the party who receives payments, and establishes the precise amount that needs to be paid. In addition, the order may set out the procedure for payment, such as making paycheck deductions every two weeks.
Finally, a child support order typically establishes the penalties for failure to pay child support, if the parent fails to make the court-ordered payments. This is a key part of any child support order, in that it provides some idea of how the order will be enforced.
Generally, a number of means are available to collect child support, including the seizure of property, interception of tax refunds and wage garnishment. A non-paying party may also be held in contempt of court for violating the court’s order.
These enforcement mechanisms are not mere threats. For example, a former Chicago alderman was recently sentenced to 30 months probation and ordered to pay over $100,000 due to his failure to pay child support for his two daughters. The man had failed to make payments since 2011. Accordingly, he pleaded guilty to criminal failure to pay child support and was placed on probation, which could terminate earlier if he fulfills his $143,837 child support obligation.
The case demonstrates the effectiveness and importance of child support orders. This is true both for the parent who is seeking to receive child support payments, as well as the parent who is under court order to make payments, such as the man above.
Source: Chicago Sun-Times, “Judge orders former Chicago alderman to pay $143,000 in child support,” Rummana Hussain, Mar. 8, 2013