Options for Paying Child Support in St. Charles

Kane County Divorce Lawyer Explains Illinois State Disbursement Unit (ISDU)

Paying child support on time is a must in Illinois, as in other states. Failure to pay child support can result in criminal prosecution, fines, property liens, and other penalties. To avoid such consequences, it is important to understand the terms of your child support order and choose the right options for you to comply with that order.

At Goostree Law Group, we understand that child support requirements can be quite complex. When we negotiate divorce settlements, we work very hard to make sure that the details of child support are clearly spelled out so as to avoid costly legal battles later. If you have any questions about how to comply with a child support order, or if you need assistance with enforcing a child support order, we are here to help.

Meeting Child Support Obligations

Whether you are on the paying or receiving end of child support, here are the two most important things we encourage our clients to remember:

  1. Keep good records of payments and expenses. For example, if parents have been ordered to share the costs of daycare on an income shares basis, they should both know the exact cost of the daycare and the percentage each of them is to pay. The obligor parent must then pay their share to either the recipient parent or to the daycare provider directly.
  2. Payments must be made according to the standing court order until it is officially modified. You are entitled to request a review and modification of child support every three years, at a minimum, or whenever either parent or the child has a significant change in circumstances. Examples of a significant change in circumstances include unemployment, a significant change in income, or an extended and costly illness. Note: Illinois uses the income shares method of calculating child support, which uses the combined income of both parents to pro-rate each parent's share of child support. Thus, a change in either parent's income can be grounds for a modification of child support.

Types of Child Support Expenses and Payment Options

Illinois law defines clear guidelines for calculating basic child support based on the combined income of both parents. However, even this basic calculation can become complicated when one or both parents have fluctuating incomes due to self-employment, commission-based employment, or the like.

In addition to basic child support, the parents must also share child-related expenses that are not directly tied to their income. These expenses typically include the out-of-pocket cost of the child's health insurance, uncovered medical expenses, school fees, daycare or after-school care for younger children, and reasonable extracurricular activity expenses.

Wage Withholding

The preferred way to pay basic child support is through wage withholding. This process ensures accurate and consistent record-keeping, which protects the interests of both the recipient parent and the payor, often referred to as the obligor.

The parent who will receive child support, or their attorney, typically fills out an Income Withholding for Support (IWO) form and submits it to the parent's employer. In some cases, the court or a state agency such as the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS) may submit the form. The IWO form states the amount of money to be withheld from the employee's paycheck each pay period. The employer sends those funds to the Illinois State Disbursement Unit (ISDU), which in turn electronically disburses the funds to the recipient parent through direct deposit or debit card.

Electronic Payment Options

When wage withholding is not possible, as when the obligor parent is a self-employed sole proprietor, or when extra expenses not built into the wage withholding order must be paid, the ISDU offers parents several options for making payments:

  • ExpertPay.com allows you to set up a withdrawal from your bank account.
  • E-Childspay.com allows you to pay by credit card.
  • Pay by Phone allows you to call a telephone number and pay with a credit card.

In all of these methods, the payments will be tracked by the name of the court that issued the child support order, the case number, and the obligor's Social Security number. This protects the obligor from accusations of non-payment.

Mailed payments

Obligors can also mail paper checks to ISDU.

Paying the Recipient Parent Directly

This method is not recommended, as it can lead to accusations of non-payment which can be difficult to counter, even if you keep your own records.

Paying a Provider Directly

In some cases, it may be appropriate for each parent to pay their share of a certain expense directly to the service provider, such as an orthodontist, private school, college, or daycare center. If you do this, be sure to keep receipts as proof of payment and communicate with your co-parent regarding these payments.

Contact a St. Charles Child Support Payment Options Lawyer

The attorneys of Goostree Law Group will advocate strongly for your interests in matters of divorce, family law, and criminal defense. We serve clients in the Kane County communities of St. Charles, Campton Hills, Elgin, Geneva, Batavia, North Aurora, Elburn, Kaneville, and LaFox. Contact us in our St. Charles office at 630-584-4800 for a free consultation.

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