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Wage Garnishment and Income Withholding

Posted on in Child Support

Illinois child support attorney, Illinois family law attorneyAfter a divorce, you could be required to make child support or spousal maintenance payments. These are meant, respectively, to cover the added expenses your former spouse faces as the primary parent of your children or to soften the financial blow that he or she suffered as a result of your divorce. Although you might feel like being required to make either or both of these payments is unfair, failure to make them is an act of contempt of court. If you cannot afford to make your spousal maintenance or child support payments, talk with your attorney about petitioning to the court to have your order modified. This is the correct way to handle your expenses, rather than allowing yourself to become delinquent. If you allow yourself to fall behind on your required payments, you could face court action such as wage garnishment, income withholding, and the loss of certain privileges until you pay the money you owe to your former spouse. Having a balance of unpaid child support or spousal maintenance is known as being in arrears. 

How Is the Money Taken?

Wage garnishment means that money is taken from each of your paychecks and used to recover the money you owe to your former partner. Income withholding is similar to wage garnishment and works identically – the only difference is that with an income withholding order, your employer holds back your paycheck and after withdrawing the appropriate amount of money, forwards the check to the State Disbursement Unit, which then forwards the reduced check to you.

If your former spouse enters an income withholding or wage garnishment order to the court, contact your attorney to determine the best way to handle the order. It is important that the money you owe is paid, but it is also important that you defend your rights and handle the order in a way that does not cause you to suffer an impossible financial burden.

What Else Can I Face?

In addition to wage garnishment and income withholding, the court may take the following steps to get you to make your past-due payments:

  • Suspend your driver's license;    
  • Suspend your passport;
  • Suspend your professional licenses;
  • Intercept your tax refund;    
  • Charge you criminally, which can result in fines and/or jail time depending on the charge, which depends on the amount of money you owe; and    
  • Seize assets of yours, such as real estate or a bank account.        

Work with a Kane County Family Attorney

Do not allow yourself to go into arrears with your child support or spousal maintenance obligation. If you cannot afford your payments, seek a modification to your order from the court. If you do go into arrears, contact an experienced Kane County divorce attorney as soon as possible to determine the right way to handle your obligation. Our team at the Goostree Law Group can help you with this and other issues related to child support and spousal maintenance. Contact our firm to schedule your initial legal consultation with us today.



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