call us630-584-4800

Free Consultations

What Happens to Child Support When the Paying Parent Is Incarcerated?

Posted on in Child Support

St. Charles IL child support attorneyThere are currently about 2.3 million Americans incarcerated in the United States, approximately half of whom are parents. Furthermore, one in five has a monthly child support obligation. In most situations, this obligation simply remains unpaid, because for many, the small income that may be available for working within the jail or prison will not cover the costs. If the individual is serving an extended sentence, the unpaid support can accumulate to become an insurmountable debt. Throughout all of this, however, the children still need financial support from both parents.

Support Options for the Recipient Parent

If you are the parent to whom support payments are made and the other parent is currently incarcerated, his or her sentence does not automatically mean you are not eligible for payment. First, a child support order does not automatically stop due to incarceration. The only person who may modify a child support order is a judge through a modification hearing, which may be requested by either parent. Also, it is possible for inmates to make a payment due to having other income and assets available.

The court could also order the other parent to make payments from sources other than a job, including:

  • Income from investments such as stocks and bonds

  • Profit from selling such investments

  • Rental income

  • Disability, retirement, or other financial benefits

  • Financial accounts with sufficient funds

  • Proceeds from real estate transactions

Almost any resource or source of income can be used to fulfill a child support obligation.

Options for the Paying Parent

If you have a standing child support order that you have a financial obligation to pay monthly, it is important to remember that a modification does not occur immediately upon your incarceration. Only a judge may order the modification after proof of a significant change in income or the needs of the child. This means that you will need to petition the court to modify your order after you are incarcerated.  

Keep in mind that you should file your modification request as soon as possible upon your sentencing. If approved, the modification may apply starting on the date you filed a petition. However, you should not assume that this will be the case, and it is best to continue making payments whenever possible while your case for modification is pending so that you can avoid any further penalties.

Contact a Kane County Child Support Lawyer

If you have questions regarding a child support order, a qualified family lawyer at Goostree Law Group can help you find the answers. Contact one of our experienced St. Charles child support attorneys to discuss your situation and your available options. Call 630-584-4800 and schedule your free initial consultation today.



Back to Top