What happens if a parent fails to pay child support?

What happens if a parent fails to pay child support?

We’ve previously written on the topic of child support and the basics of how support is determined and awarded. Regardless of whether a child’s parents were ever married or not, every child has the legal right to receive financial support from both parents. It’s important, therefore, that custodial parents take steps to secure child support payments to aid in paying for expenses related to a child’s daily needs, medical care and education.

In cases where a noncustodial parent is ordered to pay child support, he or she would be wise to abide by the court order. In Illinois, parents who fail to pay child support are subject to penalties including criminal charges, fines, the garnishment of wages and even imprisonment.

Damon Dash, a prominent name in world of fashion and hip hop music, was recently ordered by a judge to immediately pay his ex-wife and the mother of his two children, ages 8 and 15, more than $341,000 or face jail time. Dash and his ex-wife, fashion designer Rachel Roy, have been embroiled in a bitter child custody battle since divorcing in 2009.

Roy was recently awarded full custody of the couple’s two daughters after Dash failed to appear at a custody court hearing. More recently, Dash and Roy were scheduled to be in court again to settle matters related to back child support payments. When Dash again failed to appear for the most-recent hearing, the preceding judge issued a warrant for his arrest and stated Dash must pay more than $341,000 to avoid going to jail.

This case illustrates just how complicated and contentious matters related to child custody and support can become. Illinois parents who are dealing with similar issues would be wise to seek the advice and assistance of an attorney.

Source: New York Daily News, “Damon Dash hit with arrest warrant, ordered to pay $342K to ex-wife to avoid jail,” Barbara Ross, April 29, 2015

Illinois General Assembly, “(750 ILCS 16/) Non-Support Punishment Act,” April 30, 2015

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