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Illinois governor signs bill addressing unpaid child support

Illinois governor signs bill addressing unpaid child support

Date: August 29, 2013

Many times the issue of child support becomes contentious, particularly if the paying parent is not meeting their child support obligations. However, there are serious consequences for the failure to pay child support.

Recently, the governor of Illinois signed into law a bill allowing casinos and race tracks to garnish the winnings of parents who owe back child support payments. This bill is intended to address the more than $3 billion backlog that the state of Illinois has in unpaid child support payments. The money garnered from the parents would be turned over to the Illinois Department of Health Care and Family Services and then distributed to the intended recipients. Race tracks and casinos would be required under the new law, which takes effect immediately, to post warnings to gamblers that their winnings may be garnished if their name shows up in a database for unpaid child support. The bill’s sponsors estimate that the state could potentially collect up to $1 million in delinquent child support payments within the first year.

The non-payment of child support is a frequent issue between parents. Sometimes this is done deliberately either out of spite or out of a lack of desire to support the children. Other times, the parent simply does not have the finances to make the child support payments. Nevertheless, it is always the children that are hardest hit, especially when the child support payments are essential for buying food, school supplies and other items needed on a daily basis.

However, parents have the option to make an out-of-court child support plan to determine when and how child support will be paid. Alternatively, parents can turn to the courts to create a court-ordered child support agreement. The existence of a plan or a support agreement will help the parties avoid an emotionally traumatic dispute and help ease any anxiety about the support of the children. Also, the parties have the right to petition the court for a modification to their child support agreement to meet any changes in income level or any unexpected circumstances.

Making child support payment agreements or modifications in may be emotionally difficult. However, doing so will help parents avoid unpleasant disputes over the payment of child support and avoid any harm to the children.

Source: NBC Chicago, “Quinn signs bill targeting child support deadbeats,” Aug. 13, 2013.

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