Can you be sent to jail for failing to pay child support?

Child support is determined with the use of a formula in Illinois. The amount of money a parent is ordered to provide for child support is directly tied to the parent’s income and number of children. For example, a parent in Illinois would typically be ordered to pay 20 percent of his or her net income to support one child and 28 percent to support two children. However, the child support formula is a guideline rather than a hard and fast rule.

In some cases, a court may consider other factors in order to arrive at an appropriate child support order. It is very important for Peoria area residents to work with their attorneys to achieve reasonable child support arrangements; the failure to comply with child support orders can result in serious consequences.

Last month, the Leader-Telegram reported that a Chicago man is facing felony charges for failing to pay child support to the tune of about $100,000. The 45-year-old man reportedly was ordered to pay child support in 2007 for his two children. About three years later, he was found in contempt of the order and a judge ordered him to pay $100 more per month than what was originally ordered.

While this case is somewhat extreme, it is not uncommon for parents to fall behind on their child support obligations. Any number of issues can lead a parent into arrears, and this can result in a driver’s license suspension, fines and interest charges, and even jail time.

If you are having trouble honoring your child support orders due to a job loss or another significant financial change, it may be wise to talk to an attorney about obtaining a modified order, which can allow you to remain in good legal standing. Those who need assistance enforcing child support orders may also benefit from legal guidance.

Source: Leader-Telegram, ” Chicago man owes $100k in overdue child support,” April 26, 2014

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