Illinois parents who are embroiled in child support disputes with an ex-spouse should be aware that the obligation to pay a missed payment does not go away. This is true even after the child reaches the age of majority.
The cutoff age for child support will vary from state to state. Eighteen years old is the cut off age for some states, while 19 or 21 may be the age an individual is considered an adult in other states. Child support obligations can cease if a child has been emancipated, and they can be modified by the courts and states after the child becomes an adult as the custodial parent is no longer required to support the child.
There are child support enforcement methods that can be implemented by both the state and federal governments. These methods may include levying wages, suspending passports or driver’s licenses, placing liens on property, garnishing tax refunds or incarcerating a delinquent parent. Missed child support payments cannot be discharged in bankruptcy in most cases, and enforcement efforts can take place after the child becomes an adult.
Parents who are have yet to receive all of the child support payments that the other parent was legally bound to submit should be aware of the statutes of limitation in some states. This means that there may be a limited window after a child becomes an adult that the delinquent payments can be collected. It may be necessary to return to court and have the child support order renewed in order to try to collect missed payments. A family law attorney may in some cases assist a client with resolving child support delinquency issues. The attorney may request enforcement measures by the court to ensure that the best interests of the child continue to be met.