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Why You Should Never Pay Child Support Directly To EX Spouse

Child support payments can be a contentious issue during a divorce. If you are divorcing in Illinois and required to pay child support, keep the following points in mind to ensure everything goes smoothly. If you have questions about child support, our Bolingbrook child support lawyers can assist you today. 

When Should You Pay Child Support Directly?

You have the right to handle how you pay child support to your children. However, you only should pay money directly to the ex-spouse if there is a proper child support agreement. Your agreement should state that direct payments are authorized.

It is understandable if you want to avoid sending payments through the Illinois child support bureaucracy. However, the child support agreement you negotiate with your ex should be clear and structured regarding direct payments. It should state when and how direct payments should be made.

Do Not Pay Child Support In Cash

If you decide to make direct child support payments, it is important to never pay in cash. Paying in cash means you cannot prove you paid your monthly child support obligations. You must have clear documentation that you pay child support. Otherwise, your ex could accuse you of not paying child support.

You may think you have an amicable arrangement with your ex and can pay her in cash. However, one never knows when arguments could arise. If there is a disagreement about what has been paid, you need convincing evidence showing what you paid every month. Having all of your payments documented is important if questions ever arise in court. 

Consider Paying Child Support Through The State

It is often beneficial to pay child support through the state of Illinois. The payment can be taken out of your paycheck and sent to your partner. The state of Illinois runs the Illinois State Disbursement Unit to process payments. Our Bolingbrook child support lawyers can assist you.

More Tips For Paying Child Support

The tips highlighted above will help you pay child support on time and with documentation. Also, remember the following child support payment tips to encourage a better relationship with your family:

Do Not Involve The Children

Your children are already going through trauma during the divorce. You should not upset your children with financial arguments with your ex. If you allow money to dominate the situation, it can eventually affect your children. Remember, is it better to complain to your kids about child support or just pay it quietly? You could damage your relationship with your children.

Pay On Time

It is a massive problem in Illinois if you do not pay child support on time. The penalties for late payments are significant, making it difficult to catch up. In addition, you could lose your driver’s license, get garnished wages, and even go to jail.

However, the biggest issue with not paying child support is it creates anger and tension between you and your ex. Just dropping the children off at her house can turn into a conflict. This will eventually affect your relationship with the kids, which is the last thing you want.

If you are short on money, you should pay as much as possible. It is best to return to the family court and ask for assistance. If you have shown on-time payments before, the judge will likely work something out with you.

Tell Your Ex-Spouse Everything

Not giving financial information to your ex can lead to severe disagreements. A challenge in divorce is working with your ex-spouse in a way that benefits the children. If your ex feels you have not been honest about your income, there will be significant problems.

So, if you have an increase in income, tell your ex about it. You can bet they will hear it from the kids sooner or later when you spend more money! Also, by keeping everything honest and on record, you will avoid needing to pay back child support if the court finds out about undisclosed income.

Document Everything

Every month, you should have records of your payments. Keep receipts for all expenses you pay for the kids, including clothes, doctor’s visits, etc. Having records of these payments is vital if you need to renegotiate your child support agreement later.

You Cannot Control How Child Support Is Spent

Sending child support payments to your ex can be frustrating because you may not like how they spend the money. But once you send the money from your check, you cannot do anything about how it has been spent. You have done your legal obligation, and now it is out of your hands. Your ex could do anything they want with the money, including pay rent, go on vacation or buy a plane ticket.

What Should You Do If You Cannot Pay?

Illinois courts are strict if you do not pay child support. The Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984 allows courts to collect back child support payments. Remember, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy will not help you avoid child support obligations, either.

The good news is there are ways to handle the situation if you cannot afford your payments. The first step is to go back to the family court and show you cannot pay your current child support. You will need to document your income and expenses, but the court may agree to modify your agreement. Talk to your attorney if you need help with modifying your child support arrangement. 

Speak To A Bolingbrook Child Support Lawyer Today

Do you live in Bolingbrook near The Promenade Bolingbrook or Rocket Ice Skating Rink? Are you going through a divorce and have issues with child support payments? Wherever you live in Bolingbrook, our attorneys can help you. 

Please contact Keller Legal Services for assistance with child support and other divorce-related topics. Our Bolingbrook divorce attorneys also work with clients in Elmhurst, Downers Grove, Aurora, Wheaton, Woodridge, Geneva, Elgin, Glen Ellyn, Orland Park, Joliet, and Tinley Park.