It is difficult enough to get those ordered to pay child support to comply. According to U.S. Census data, fewer than half of those awarded child support receive their payments on time (if at all). Because of this, authorities are more likely to issue garnishment orders to obligors’ employers, so that payments are made as ordered.
However, what happens when an employer refuses to comply? Illinois law imposes significant penalties upon employers who do not follow garnishment orders. Nevertheless, this does not appear to have deterred Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois from ignoring orders to set aside support amounts for a chiropractor who is paid by the health insurance company.
When the chiropractor and his wife divorced in 2008, he was ordered to pay $930.00 in child support and alimony payments. Blue Cross Blue Shield reimburses him for his services as he bills clients covered by the company. When the payments did not arrive, the wife sent Blue Cross several notices (along with the applicable law on employers’ responsibility to make such payments). However, Blue Cross contends that it does not fit the applicable definition of “payor” that would require them set aside money to comply with court orders.
A trial court agreed with Blue Cross in 2009, but an appellate court reversed the decision. Since then, Blue Cross has diverted some of the chiropractors earnings in compliance with the court’s order, but the payments have been sporadic. Meanwhile, the trial court judge has become increasingly disturbed by the company’s lack of compliance. The case is a poignant example of why an experienced attorney is needed in child support cases.
Source: ChicagoTribune.com, Woman in battle with Blue Cross over child support payments, September 1, 2013