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Understanding how to make a child support payment

When a couple has made the decision to pursue a divorce in Illinois, they will immediately need to make some critical decisions about the care and needs of their children. In many cases, one or both parents decide to relocate, financial obligations are allocated and court-ordered requirements are laid out for how child care will be paid for and who is responsible for the primary care needs of the children in the relationship. 

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, parents looking to collect child support payments to fund the needs of their children, must first complete some general requirements. These include the following:

  • Paternity must be established: Using a DNA test or documents that verify the child's parents, paternity must be clearly established. This guarantees that the financial responsibilities do not fall on the shoulders of someone who is not involved in the relationship. 
  • A child support order must be organized: Often, this process requires intervention by professional parties to negotiate, mediate and decide on the long-term agreement for how the children will be cared for. Parents should pay attention to varying agreements so they can include a modification clause should they ever need to make changes to the arrangement. 
  • The child support order should be enforced: Once the child support agreement has been established, the court will guarantee that it is enforced. People who choose not to make payments could face serious consequences including liens on their property, withheld tax refunds and income, and denied passports or suspended driver's licenses. 

The Illinois State Disbursement Unit suggests that paying parents should include their name, payment amount, docket number and issuing county when making any payments. 

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