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State resources for Wheaton parents with child support problems

Illinois family law attorneys help separated and divorced parents reach child custody and visitation agreements. Lawyers also provide guidance for setting up arrangements for child support. Some Wheaton custodial parents may not realize they can contact the DuPage County State Attorney's Office directly for help with some of these issues.

The state office, under the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, offers a variety of low cost or no-fee services to custodial parents, whether or not a parent receives government assistance. The office helps custodial parents without child support court orders to obtain them, as long as the child's parentage is clear. When the legal father of a child is unknown or in question, the office works toward establishing paternity before pursuing a child support order.

The office's Child Support Enforcement Unit safeguards the flow of child support between non-custodial parents and custodial parents. A custodial parent sometimes cannot collect back-owed support because the location of a non-custodial parent is unknown. The state has access to resources that makes finding a missing parent easier than a custodial parent's solo effort.

The state also steps in when a non-custodial parent won't pay support for reasons other than an inability to make payments. The enforcement unit has the power to collect support through income garnishments and tax refunds. A non-custodial parent also may face penalties for incomplete or nonpayment including property liens, negative reports to credit bureaus, a driver's license suspension and in certain circumstances, even jail time.

Custodial parents facilitate the child support enforcement process by supplying state investigators with information about an absent parent. There is a limit to what the DuPage County State Attorney's Office can do for former couples with child-related legal issues. An attorney must be retained to resolve parental disputes over child custody and visitations, which should be settled in advance of any child support and enforcement decisions.

Source: The County of DuPage -- Wheaton, Illinois, "Child Support Enforcement Unit" Aug. 05, 2014

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