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Child Support and Fathers’ Rights: Can I Pay Child Support Directly to the Other Parent?

Child support is money a non-custodial parent pays to the other parent to provide for a child. While child support is gender-neutral under the law — meaning both mothers and fathers can be ordered to pay or entitled to receive child support — the National Fatherhood Initiative reports that fathers are nearly 10 times more likely to be ordered to pay child support than moms. Divorced/separated fathers need a basic understanding of the logistics of making payments. Here, our fathers’ rights attorneys in Naperville and Bolingbrook explain how child support is paid in Illinois.

Fathers Should Only Pay Child Support Directly If the Agreement/Order Calls For It

Parents have the right to handle the logistics of child support payments on their own. A father can pay child support directly to his former partner. However, as a best practice, child support should only be paid directly if there is a child support agreement or child support order in place that explicitly endorses that approach.

If you are an Illinois father who wants to keep child support payments outside of the general “bureaucracy,” you should be prepared to negotiate a child support agreement that is clear, legally enforceable, and contains a structured process outlining exactly how direct payments should be made.

Avoid Paying in Cash when Paying Child Support Directly

If you are making direct child support payments, it is crucial you do so in a manner that produces comprehensive documentation. Never pay child support in cash — even if you fully trust your former partner to treat you fairly. The reality is that disputes can arise at any point in time. Should there be a disagreement, fathers need reliable evidence indicating how much child support was paid and when payments were made. Be sure to keep your records.

State Enforcement: Payments are Processed Through the Disbursement Unit System

For several reasons, parents may want the state’s assistance in processing child support payments. Child support can be taken directly out of a father’s paycheck — and then rerouted to their former partner. With this approach, there will be no financial interactions between the two parents. The Illinois State Disbursement Unit operates a system that processes child support payments. If you have questions or concerns about getting your child support enforcement and process through the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), our family lawyers are available to help.

Call Our Illinois Fathers’ Rights Attorney for a Confidential Consultation

At Keller Legal Services, our Illinois fathers’ rights lawyers have the skills and experience to handle the full range of child support cases. If you are a dad who has questions about the logistics of making child support payments, we are available to offer help. For a confidential consultation, please contact our law firm today. We represent fathers throughout the region, including in Naperville and Bolingbrook.