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Deadbeat Dads -- The ISBA Offers Some Suggestions Under the Law

Question: How can I get my children's deadbeat dad to make his child support payments on time? Answer:  If the parent obligated to pay child support falls behind in making payments, the court may request that the person's employer withhold the support directly from his or her paycheck. To do this, the custodial parent must obtain a court order by filing a form with the circuit court. Employers are legally obligated to withhold support, and those who do not are subject to legal penalties. You may also have the child support payments withheld and paid to the clerk of the court in your county, then sent to you. An Illinois law allows the courts to suspend deadbeat parents' driver's licenses for those who are 90 days behind in court-ordered child support. If you are not receiving the child support payments due you, or if they are late, you can contact the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, which offers free legal representation to enforce child support orders. Private attorneys also provide representation to compel support payments.       For more information about Illinois law, visit If you have a legal question, send it to   Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit

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