This is the next article in my series on how Peoria, Illinois fathers can deal with issues involving child support. My last article discussed why dads should not use self-help when behind on their payments. Failing to follow the Court’s orders can result in one being held in contempt and possibly in incarceration. By promptly filing to modify your support you can avoid such issues. In this article I will discuss the process of taking action against a mother who is failing to pay Court ordered support. If you require assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
If a mother is ordered to pay support then she must do so. If she does not then a dad will have options. If you are not receiving your monthly payments then the first step should be to contact the mother and attempt to work the matter out amicably. It is important to be reasonable and to understand that there are times where one may have fallen behind on their obligations for legitimate reasons. If a resolution can be reached then you can avoid going to Court. This will save you money in legal fees and, importantly, will help to maintain a civil relationship between yourself and the mother.
If a resolution cannot be reached then it may be necessary to take legal action. The first step is for your attorney to file a “schedule of arrears” with the Court. This is a financial breakdown in which counsel will show how much you are owed and the amount of interest which should be applied to any arrears. The next step is to file a Motion For An Order To Show Cause with the Court. A hearing will be held and the mother will need to demonstrate “good cause” as to why she should not be held in contempt for failing to follow the Judge’s orders. The Court will typically give the mother an opportunity to become current on her obligations. More often than not the matter will be quickly resolved after the initial hearing.
It is important, again, that you try to work out a solution with the mother directly before taking the matter to Court. Litigation will quickly escalate tensions between the parents and this can lead to many problems down the road and such issues are not in the best interests of the child. If you have questions about your situation then contact my Peoria office to speak with a fathers’ rights lawyer. I also serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford. I also handle federal cases in Urbana.