Many Illinois single parents are struggling to get by and support their children, especially if they are making their own way without child support from the other parent. In some cases, they may apply for public assistance, especially if they are facing poverty. This can be especially likely when the other parent was previously responsible for carrying the majority of family expenses. However, when a single parent applies for government assistance and social services, one of the first inquiries he or she is likely to face from that office will be about his or her child support situation.

In some cases, a person may have a child support order in effect, but the other parent is delinquent on payments or outright refuses to pay. In other cases, especially between unmarried parents, there may be no child support order in place at all. This situation is unlikely to persist after a government benefits application, however. The government will encourage the single parent to file for child support or will file its own child support action to seek reimbursement for public assistance expenses it has incurred.

Of course, in other situations, child support is being paid by the other parent, but it is still insufficient to meet the needs of the family, especially when both parents are struggling financially. In these cases, child support and public assistance are not necessarily linked. The government views child support as an issue of public interest and not simply the concern of the parents involved. In addition, it considers unpaid child support to be a burden borne by the taxpayers, who must fill in the gap.

Obtaining a child support order can be important for single parents who want to ensure that their children are protected and provided for. A family law attorney can help parents file for child support and obtain an order based on the their income and state support guidelines.