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Child Support Archives

Unpaid child support holding steady - at $3 billion

A recent report showed that non-custodial parents in Illinois owe $3 billion in back child support, about the same amount owed last year and the year before. With the state currently collecting around 58 percent of support payments, child advocates say the picture isn't likely to get better.

US Supreme Court weighs right to lawyer in child support cases (concl.)

We're wrapping up our series on the child support case recently argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. The father was in serious arrears with his support payments and had been haled into court on the matter many times. He explained to the court that he was simply too poor to make the payments, and the family court charged him with civil contempt and sent him to jail each time. The man argues that the court should have appointed an attorney for him. The Supreme Court is now asked to determine if courts should appoint an attorney for unrepresented, indigent parties in civil matters (specifically child support cases).

US Supreme Court weighs right to lawyer in child support cases (p. 2)

In our last post, we were discussing a case argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. The controversy at the bottom of the matter involves a father who could not make his child support payments. Charged with civil contempt, the man was sent to jail a number of times, at least once for as long as a year. The objective of civil contempt is coercion, not punishment. The defendant claims his jail time was pure punishment, because he was too poor to make the support payments.

US Supreme Court weighs right to lawyer in child support cases

If a father hasn't paid child support in accordance with a court order, he can be sent to jail. There are penalties for not doing what a court of law tells you to do -- you can wind up with a civil contempt of court charge and jail time. The most famous civil contempt of court cases involve reporters who refuse to reveal their sources after a judge has issued an order. They spend time in jail until they disclose the information, or they appeal, typically with the help of the newspaper's attorney.

Illinois child support information

The Department of Healthcare and Family Services Child Support Program provides all Illinois residents with child support services. These services allow custodial parents to legally establish paternity, locate the other parent, acquire health insurance for the child or children and collect payments on an established court order.

Numbers Show Child Support Payments Falling

The recession was likely the reason child support payments fell in 2009, the first such decline in over 60 years. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has not completed the analysis of 2010 child support data, but preliminary results suggest another year of losses.

Change to Illinois Child Support Law Effective on January 1

A procedural change regarding child support agreements went into effect on January 1, 2011. The law seems simple, but its effect could be profound. It certainly speaks to the state's commitment to the best interests of the child and, as such, is important information for Illinois parents and family law professionals to know.

Judge Calls Michigan Man "Poster Child for Irresponsibility"

Residents of Illinois may be shaking their heads in disbelief as well as relief at the recent case of a Michigan deadbeat dad. It's hard, really, for anyone to believe the facts of the case, and it's a relief to know that this guy is another state's problem. It all started when he fell behind -- way behind -- on his child support payments.

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