As many single parents in Illinois are aware, it can be a hassle to get child support from an ex. Many exes just do not want to pay up, or will try to hide how much they are earning to avoid their obligations. Courts in Illinois are wising up to this practice and they are cracking down on those who attempt to skirt current child support laws. Recently, one Cook County judge ordered that $2.3 million be paid out by a company in a unique child support case that could be the highest family law judgment in Illinois history.
How can a Small Child Support Debt turn into a Large One?
This case isn’t about an extremely wealthy couple. Obviously, the more money someone has, the more they’ll be paying in child support since Illinois calculates child support based on percent of net income.
Originally, the woman in this case was only attempting to collect $7,820 in unpaid child support from her ex-husband, a finance manager at a car dealership in Herscher. In 2010, she began her quest to have her ex’s wages garnished. While this is usually a simple process, in this case, the garnishment never occurred. The dealership claimed that there was a clerical error, or in the alternative that the man was an independent contractor and they weren’t required to garnish his wages.
Illinois law does not look kindly on employers who do not garnish wages in child support cases, however, employers who do not withhold wages can be fined $100 per day, and overdue payments can be compounded. This ultimately means that when the case went before a Cook County judge this April, rather than being ordered to pay $7,820, the dealership was instead ordered to pay $2.3 million in penalties.
It is almost certain that the dealership will appeal this ruling, however, past cases indicate that this decision will likely stand. In 2007, a similar case came before the Illinois Supreme Court, and in that case, the justices upheld $1.2 million in penalties for an employer in a child support case. The message to employers is clear that they must either follow the state’s garnishment laws when it comes to child support or face hefty fines.
Contact a Rolling Meadows Family Law Attorney Today
Cases such as this are rare, but they illustrate that parents can receive the child support they are entitled to, and employers who fail to comply with the law will be forced to pay their fair share as well. An experienced family law attorney can help you in your efforts to get support for your children. Contact Attorney Susan A. Marks at SAM Law Office, LLC in Rolling Meadows today for a free consultation about how to collect child support from your ex.