When Illinois courts and courts in Chicago enter child support orders during a divorce or parentage case, they often require the paying parent’s employer to withhold the child support amount from the paying parent’s paycheck. The employer then sends each payment to the State Disbursement Unit, which in turn sends a check to the recipient parent. Many employers in the Chicago area are required to withhold child support payments. But what happens if the employer does not make a payment as required by the order? The recipient parent may be entitled to relief, but he or she must take action when a payment is missed.
Under a new Illinois law that became effective in August 2012, the recipient parent must do certain things when the paying parent’s employer does not make a payment. The recipient parent must send a written notice that he or she did not receive the required payment to the employer via certified mail, return receipt requested. The notice must include the date that the payment was due and the amount of the missed payment. The employer then has fourteen days to make the payment, including statutory interest, or to explain why they did not make the payment. If the employer does not respond within fourteen days, it may be subject to a $100.00 per day penalty.
The recipient parent must act quickly if the paying parent’s employer misses a payment; the recipient parent cannot bring an action to collect a penalty against the employer after one year since the failure to make the payment at issue.