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Ex-spouse Refuses to Pay Child Support – What the ISBA Advises

Question: My ex-spouse refuses to pay court-ordered child support. What recourse do I have?

Answer: The timely support of child support payments may be enforced in several ways. The court may require an employer to withhold a child support payment; those who do not are subject to legal penalties. Illinois law also allows the court to suspend the delinquent parent’s driver’s license if the parent is at least 90 days behind on his or her payments. A judge can hold the delinquent party in contempt and jail them until they satisfy the amount required to be paid. There are also criminal actions for nonsupport that local States Attorneys can pursue and similar statutes are under federal law.

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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