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Requirements for cooperation in child support enforcement

Custodial parents who receives help through programs such as AABD Cash, AABD Medical, TANF, Family Assist, Parent/KidCare Assist or KidCare Moms and Babies are required to cooperate with child support enforcement activities. Cooperation means that the custodial parent provides information that can help establish paternity of children receiving assistance. A parent must be willing to testify in court, assist in finding the non-custodial parent or appear to give written or verbal information.

If a custodial parent has good cause not to cooperate with child support enforcement, there may be no penalty for failing to do so. For example, if a woman is pregnant, medical treatment is not to be stopped or denied. In some cases, the refusal of a custodial parent to cooperate does not affect medical benefits that a child will receive. However, those who do not have cause could lose medical benefits that will not be restored until the parent cooperates again. Benefits are restored on the first day of the month after the parent agrees to cooperate again.

Additionally, whether a parent needs to cooperate depends on that person's income. Those who make more than the Family Health Spenddown Income Standard do not need to cooperate. At intake, information may be collected before determining if the parent makes enough to avoid cooperation. If the parent does make more than the income standard, any information collected will not be forwarded.

As this shows, failure to cooperate with child support enforcement may result in certain penalties. A family law attorney may be able to help a parent understand his or her rights and obligations regarding cooperation and the possible sanction that may be faced for failure to comply.

Source: Illinois Department of Human Services, "Child Support Enforcement - Cooperation Requirements", September 15, 2014

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