In Illinois, divorcing couples must determine which parent needs to pay child support and how much by using the Illinois Child Support Guidelines that determines the proper amount based on income and the number of children for whom one is responsible. If a couple is unable to agree, a court order is required to set up child support. When a parent fails to pay child support, the state of Illinois can legally use the threat of driver’s license suspension to entice payment.

The Family Financial Responsibility Act 

In conjunction with the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, the Family Financial Responsibility Act gives courts the ability to revoke the driver’s license of a parent who is more than 90 days behind in child support payments required by court order. The law allows for two methods of suspension depending on which state’s department invokes the law against the non-compliant parent.

Court-ordered suspension 

According to the Family Financial Responsibility Act, an Illinois circuit court judge can use the law when he or she rules that a parent has been delinquent in payments for over three months. The court is required to complete a record of nonpayment that is submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office, which then notifies the parent that their driver’s license will be suspended in 60 days unless full payment is made. A parent can avoid having his or her license suspended by doing the following:

  • Notifying the Secretary of State’s Office that the requirements have been met
  • Requesting an administrative hearing during the 60 days prior to suspension
  • Paying the missing and current child support in full

 DHFS-ordered suspension

The second system for driver’s license suspension is used by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. The DHFS can report directly to the Secretary of State’s Office when a parent has not been paying child support following a divorce. The process is then the same as it is through the court-ordered method once the Secretary of State’s Office is notified, with a notice of upcoming suspension sent to the parent. Both systems allow for the Secretary of State’s Office to provide a driving permit for the offending parent if needed for travel to work or for medical needs.

The state of Illinois takes a hard stand on child support payment. Parents should be sure to follow through on financial responsibilities in order to avoid license suspension and other legal ramifications. Working with an attorney can help ensure that parents are held accountable for the financial well-being of their children.