How to Enforce Child Support Payments in Court

How to Enforce Child Support Payments in CourtChild support is a shared responsibility between co-parents who no longer live together. Illinois’ child support laws use the number of children and the income of the parents to determine an appropriate amount to go towards raising the children. When one parent is not paying his or her share of child support, it hurts both the children and the other parent. If you have a co-parent who is not paying the required amount of child support, you may need to take legal action to enforce the child support payments.

Considerations Before Going to Court

When your co-parent misses a child support payment for the first time, your initial response should be to contact him or her and ask about the payment. Going to court may be unnecessary if your co-parent has a legitimate excuse for missing the payment and can assure you that this is a one-time occurrence. In some cases, the threat of legal action may be enough to get your co-parent to cooperate. However, you may need a court to be involved if your co-parent:

  • Cannot reasonably explain why he or she missed the payment;
  • Continues to miss payments;
  • Does not attempt to repay you in a timely fashion; or
  • Refuses to pay child support.

Filing in Court

To request that a court enforce child support payments, you must file a rule to show cause that your co-parent is in contempt for not paying child support. You must be prepared to present evidence of:

  • The lack of child support payments by your co-parent;
  • The value of the child support that has not been paid; and
  • The duration of the missed payments.

If the court finds that your evidence is sufficient, it will order your co-parent to appear and explain why he or she has missed the child support payments. Your co-parent will need to prove that he or she did not intentionally violate the child support order or that a sudden change of circumstances prevented him or her from complying.

Enforcement Tools

The court has many ways of enforcing child support payments and punishing your co-parent for non-compliance, including:

  • Garnishing his or her wages or bank accounts;
  • Taking the money from his or her state or federal tax refunds;
  • Placing a lien on his or her property;
  • Suspending his or her driver’s license; and
  • Recommending criminal prosecution that may result in fines or jail time. 

Your children’s wellbeing is at stake when your co-parent does not comply with child support payments. A Kane County family law attorney at Goostree Law Group can help you use legal means to enforce the child support payments. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.


Goostree Law Group

Goostree Law Group

 555 S. Randall Road, Suite 200
St. Charles, IL 60174


 1770 Park Street, Suite 205
Naperville IL 60563


 400 S. County Farm Road, Suite 300
Wheaton, IL 60187


Our Illinois divorce attorneys represent clients in Kane County, DuPage County, Kendall County and DeKalb County, including Geneva, Batavia, St.Charles, Wayne, Wasco, Elburn, Virgil, Lily Lake, Aurora, North Aurora, Elgin, South Elgin, Bartlett, Crystal Lake, Gilberts, Millcreek, Maple Park, Kaneville, LaFox, Yorkville, Oswego, Plano, Sugar Grove, Big Rock, Bristol, Newark, DeKalb, Sycamore, Naperville, Wheaton, West Chicago, Winfield, Warrenville, Downers Grove, Lombard, Oak Brook, Streamwood, Hoffman Estates, Barrington, South Barrington, Lake Barrington, Schaumburg, Big Grove, Boulder Hill, Bristol, Joliet, Kendall, Lisbon, Minooka, Montgomery, Plainfield, Sandwich, Yorkville and many other cities.

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