Deadbeat Dad Laws in Illinois

By Samantha Kemp

So called "Deadbeat Dad" laws -- which also apply to Deadbeat Moms -- are meant to punish noncustodial parents for failing to pay ordered child support. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services has a number of enforcement techniques to get these parents to pay the money they owe. The department also can assist custodial parents in collecting the child support their children are owed. Custodial parents can apply for services at their local offices.

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Automatic Income Withholding

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services uses the federal New Hire Program that requires Illinois employers to file a new-hire report to identify employees who have recently acquired employment with them. The employer is required to file this report within 20 days of any new hire. The report includes the new employee's name, address and Social Security number. The report originally goes to the Illinois Department of Employment Security, but it is then shared with the Department of Healthcare and Family Services. If the employee pays child support, this department sends an Order to Withhold Income for Child Support to the employer. The employer is then required to deduct the amount of child support noted on the order from the noncustodial parent's wages and send them to the state's disbursement unit.

Driver's License Suspension

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services can petition the Illinois Secretary of State's office to suspend the driver's license of anyone who is more than 90 days behind on child support. A family court judge can also suspend a noncustodial parent's driver's license.

Contempt of Court

A noncustodial parent can be found in contempt of court if he is proven to have intentionally violated the court's order. If the judge finds him in contempt of court, he can order that a certain amount of the back child support be paid by a certain date. Otherwise, he can be sent to jail.

Publication of Debt

The Department of Healthcare and Family Services can request that the delinquent child support be included on the noncustodial parent's credit report. Additionally, the department includes a current list of deadbeat parents on its website along with the amount that the parent owes.

Statute of Limitations

The state of Illinois does not have a statute of limitations regarding the collection of back child support at the time of publication. The last statute of limitations on the books regarding back child support was on July 1, 1997, which limited collection of child support judgments to 20 years after the child turned 18. Therefore, any such judgments that expired before this date cannot be enforced under the previous law.

About the Author

Samantha Kemp is a lawyer for a general practice firm. She has been writing professionally since 2009. Her articles focus on legal issues, personal finance, business and education. Kemp acquired her JD from the University of Arkansas School of Law. She also has degrees in economics and business and teaching.

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