Are you waiting for child support payments and wondering, "How far behind in child support before a warrant is issued in Illinois?" In Illinois, a warrant is issued if child support payments are overdue by $5,000 or at least six months. If the parent doesn't pay within 30 days of receiving a court summons, an arrest warrant can be issued. Unpaid child support accumulates, so if a parent owes $4,000 one month and misses two payments, they'll be considered six months behind.
Amounts of Arrears Required for a Warrant to be Issued in Illinois for Being Behind in Child Support
In Illinois, an arrest warrant can be issued for failure to pay child support if the amount of arrears is at least $5,000 or the obligor is more than two months behind on payments.
The amount of arrears required for a warrant to be issued varies from county to county. For example, in Cook County, a warrant may be issued if the obligor is more than two months behind on payments, regardless of the amount owed.
$20,000 or More in Unpaid Child Support
In Illinois, warrants can be issued to individuals who are at least $20,000 or more behind in their child support payments. A warrant can be ordered as a result of a hearing or by the court itself, depending on the circumstances and amount of arrears owed.
When an individual has reached this level of delinquency in their child support payments, they are also likely to face other consequences such as wage garnishment, driver’s license suspension, and bank account seizure.
Failure to Pay for at Least 12 Months
In Illinois, if a parent has failed to pay child support for at least 12 months, the court may issue a warrant for their arrest. This is known as a “failure to pay” warrant.
The warrant will direct law enforcement officers to take the individual into custody and hold them until they can appear in court and answer for their failure to make court-ordered payments.
More information: What happens if you don't pay child support in Illinois?
Process of Obtaining a Warrant in Illinois Behind in Child Support Before a Warrant is Issued in Illinois
In Illinois, a warrant for unpaid child support can be issued if the debtor is two months behind in payments. To obtain a warrant, a petition must be filed in court or through administrative order. Evidence of non-payment and reasonable attempts to collect payment may be required.
If the court finds that the debtor is two months behind, they may issue a summons or arrest warrant. If the debtor does not appear in court or make payment within thirty days of being served with a summons, they will be issued with an arrest warrant.
File Motion with Court
In Illinois, the determination of a child support arrearage arrest warrant for failure to pay child support is made by the county courts. Each court operates differently, so the process and time frame of when a warrant may be issued varies.
Generally, under child support law, a motion must first be filed with the court requesting that an arrest warrant be issued for non-payment. The exact amount of past due payments or arrears necessary to trigger a warrant varies from county to county, but the amount must usually be at least $5,000 or two months past due.
Hearing Before a Judge or Magistrate
In Illinois, a warrant may be issued for an individual who is significantly behind in child support payments. Generally, the individual must be four months or more behind on payments before a warrant will be issued. However, before a warrant can be issued, the individual must have a hearing before a judge or magistrate.
At this hearing, the individual will have an opportunity to explain why he or she is behind in payments and why they should not be held in contempt of court. If the individual is unable to provide a satisfactory explanation, or if the court believes the individual has willfully failed to pay their child support obligations, then an arrest warrant may be issued.
Reasons for Denial of the Motion for a Warrant
In Illinois, the denial of a motion for a warrant to enforce child support payments can be based on various factors. One of the most common reasons for denying a warrant is if the non-custodial parent who owes support is not significantly behind in payments. Judges must carefully consider whether or not the amount owed is substantial enough to warrant enforcement action against the non-custodial parent.
Another common reason for denying a warrant is if the non-custodial parent has made efforts to make payments but has been unable to do so due to financial hardships or other extenuating circumstances. Judges must consider all the facts of the case before deciding whether or not to issue an arrest warrant.
Immediate Arrest and Incarceration
In Illinois, a warrant for immediate arrest and incarceration can be issued if the parent owing child support is behind in payments by at least three months. The law requires that the parent must be delinquent by an amount equal to or greater than the amount of three months' worth of court-ordered payments before a warrant will be issued.
Additionally, even if a warrant has been issued, it may not be enforced unless the parent is found to be in contempt of court.
Suspension of Driver’s License, Professional Licenses, and Hunting/Fishing Licenses
In Illinois, a warrant can be issued for individuals who are more than two months behind on their child support. The Office of the State's Attorney may issue an arrest warrant or a contempt order.
Once issued, the individual can be arrested and have their driver's license suspended until all past due payments are made. Illinois also has other enforcement options for child support payors who are behind in child support, such as suspending licenses and using wage garnishment and liens on assets.
Income Withholding from Wages and Tax Refunds
The State of Illinois uses income withholding from wages and tax refunds as a common method for collecting unpaid court-ordered child support payments. When a non-custodial parent falls behind on their payments, the custodial parent can request income withholding.
The State then sends an order to the employer or income source of the non-custodial parent, instructing them to withhold a portion of their income until the child support is paid in full. The State can also intercept tax refunds from federal and state income taxes until all past-due payments are collected. This is an effective way of collecting unpaid child support as it often results in a lump sum payment.
Bank Account Levies and Liens on Property
In Illinois, when a noncustodial parent is behind in child support payments and can pay, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) may issue a warrant for their arrest.
In addition to an arrest warrant, HFS can also take other legal actions against those who are delinquent in their child support payments. This includes levying bank accounts and placing liens on property.
Consequences if Contempt is Proven in Court
If a noncustodial parent in Illinois is found to be in contempt of court for failing to pay court-approved child support, they may face a variety of consequences. The most common consequence is that the noncustodial parent may be held accountable for up to 180 days of unpaid child support. The court can also order the noncustodial parent to make immediate payment of any past
In Illinois, a warrant for immediate arrest and incarceration can be issued if the parent owing child support is behind in payments by at least three months. Other possible enforcement options for child support payment issues include suspension of driver's licenses, professional licenses, and hunting/fishing licenses; income withholding from wages and tax refunds; bank account levies and liens on property; and consequences if contempt is proven in court.
Call Tommalieh Law Today For More Information
If you are behind on child support in Illinois, it is important to understand the potential consequences and how far behind you must be before a warrant is issued.
If your child support arrears have reached a certain amount, legal action can be taken against you, which may include a warrant being issued for your arrest. To avoid this situation, it is wise to seek help from professional legal representation as soon as possible.
At Tommalieh Law, our experienced child support enforcement attorneys are here to help you understand your options and work toward a resolution.