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My Former Partner Stopped Paying Child Support: What are My Legal Options?

According to data provided by the United States Census Bureau, more than half of parents due child support receive less than the full amount that they are owed — and nearly one third of custodial parents receive nothing at all.

If your former partner has fallen behind on their child support obligations, it can put a tremendous amount of financial stress on you and your family. In this article, our Illinois child support attorneys provide an overview of what parents should do if they are seeking collection of overdue child support.

Step #1: Do Not Let Violations Linger: Protect Your Rights

If your former partner stopped paying child support in violation of your child support agreement or in violation of a court order, it is imperative that you take immediate action to protect your legal rights and your financial interests. The longer you allow a violation to persist unchallenged, the more difficult it will likely be to collect the full amount of child support you are owed. Quick action is often the key to resolving this issue. If you have a reasonably good working relationship with your former partner, you may even be able to call them to discuss the issue and get the payment you are owed.

Step #2: Explore Your Options with a Child Support Lawyer

Before taking an unpaid child support case to court, it is strongly advised that you consult with a qualified Illinois child support lawyer. Your attorney will be able to review the specific circumstances of your case, and help you take the steps that that will best protect your rights and interests. In some cases, taking an unpaid child support case to court could actually be a mistake. On the other hand, in some cases, it is best to seek an immediate remedy with the Illinois Department of Child Support Services. Ultimately, the best solution will always depend on the nature of your child support agreement/order and the reason your former partner stopped making their payments 

Step #3: Enforce a Child Support Order

In Illinois, there are many collection tools available to help parents enforce a child support award. The Illinois Department of Child Support Services has a number of different administrative remedies available to recover delinquent child support for custodial parents. Among others, these collection methods include

  • A contempt of court finding;
  • The suspension of driving privileges;
  • Wage garnishment;
  • Property liens; and

Of course, you may be able to collect overdue child support independently. Indeed, the best option for you and your family may be to reach a settlement outside of the court. Your Illinois child support lawyer can help you assess the viability of available remedies in your case.

Speak to Our Illinois Child Support Lawyers Today

At Keller Legal Services, our Illinois family lawyers have extensive experience handling the full range of child support cases. If your ex stopped paying child support, we are here to help. To set up a free consultation, please do not hesitate to contact our legal team today. We have offices in Aurora and Wheaton and handle child support cases throughout the region.