We are still talking about the difficulty of enforcing child support agreements. If a noncustodial parent fails to pay, the custodial parent can go to court, certainly, but Illinois has had a poor track record of enforcing those court orders.
One Lake County woman tells a story that may sound familiar to many custodial parents. Her ex-husband was not paying the $150 a week the couple had agreed to when they divorced, so she petitioned the court to revoke his driver’s license. The court was reluctant to take such a drastic step, so, instead, her husband gave her $2,500 that day and apparently promised the court he would pay the rest. That was a few weeks ago.
The “rest” amounts to $20, 895, and the woman has yet to see a dime. Another hearing will be held in January to revisit the issue.
It gets even harder if the nonpaying parent leaves the county or the state. A bench warrant in one county, for example, will not guarantee that another county will pick up the nonpaying parent. A long-time family law attorney tells the story of a client’s husband who owed $65,000 in child support. The court issued a warrant for his arrest, but he lived in another county. When the police there picked him up on a traffic violation, they refused to execute the warrant.
One reason could be the cost of transporting the parent to the county where the child support order was issued. According to one Illinois sheriff, nonpayment of child support is not an extraditable offense; there is no obligation to hand the parent over.
We’ll finish this up in the next post.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “Child support challenges courts in Illinois,” Lisa Black, Oct. 25, 2013