The Child Support Enforcement Division started in 1974 to provide enforcement services for custodial parents. The office has 20,000 active cases and works in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services (IDHFS), located at 227 Genesee Street, Waukegan, Illinois.
A case starts by going to the IDHFS, not the State’s Attorneys Office. The phone number to contact the IHFS is 800.447.4278. Cases are processed with the help of the Circuit Clerk and the Sheriff. Child Support payments are processed through the the Circuit Clerk’s Office, not through the the State’s Attorneys Office. Please see below for any questions you might have.
My ex-spouse will not comply with the terms of the divorce order, what should I do?
My ex-spouse will not comply with the custody/visitation order, what should I do?
The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office does not represent parties in divorce or family cases. The State’s Attorney’s Office represents the State of Illinois in child support establishment and enforcement cases begun by the Illinois Department of Health Care and Family Services. Please contact them directly at 1 (800) 447-4278 if you need assistance with child support and medical insurance coverage.
If you are interested in hiring an attorney for a family-law matter or some other legal issue, you can contact the Lake County Bar Association at (847) 244-3143. The LCBA has an attorney referral program that can assist you in finding an attorney. The attorney referral program can also be accessed online at www.lakebar.org.
What is the role of IDHFS?
Federal law says that all states must offer child support services to all families, whether they are receiving welfare or not. In Illinois, the Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) is a part of the Illinois Department of Heathcare and Family Services (IDHFS). DCSE helps parents and caretakers:
1. Locate the parent who does not live with the child–the non-custodial parent (NCP)
2. Legally establish the child’s father
3. Get child support and/or medical coverage
4. Change the amount a parent has to pay for child support
5. Order job search and employment services for the NCP
DCSE cannot :
1. Help you get a divorce or decide who gets property
2. Petition the court and decide issues involving custody or visitation rights to either parent
3. Petition the court to provide college expenses
There is no charge for the child support enforcement services.
Contact DCSE by
• visiting any DCSE office( in Waukegan 227a Genessee Street, Waukegan
• calling the Child support customer service call center at 1800 447-4278
• going online at www.ilchildsupport.com/
What is the role of the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office?
You must first contact the Department of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) through the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services. The State’s Attorneys Office cannot start a case. DCSE will prepare your case for either judicial or administrative actions. In the event, judicial action is chosen DCSE forwards the file to the local states attorney’s office.
• The State’s Attorneys Office receives the file and within 30 days, action must be taken, whether a petition is filed or the case is rejected for some reason.
• if the case is filed, notice is sent to custodial and noncustodial parent (NCP).
• the State’s Attorneys Office files petitions, such as:
• to establish paternity,
• to set child support and medical insurance on cases where voluntary acknowledgment
of paternities were signed
• to set child support and medical insurance on those cases where the parties are
separated, but not divorced
• to obtain medical insurance
• to obtain medical insurance reimbursement
• to register foreign orders for enforcement purposes only
• SAO will file enforcement pleadings:
• Rule to show cause for failure to pay
• Rule to show cause for failure to provide medical insurance
• Petitions to modify support
• Petitions for entry of judgment.
The State’s Attorneys Office also does not collect nor distribute child support payments.
Who collect the money owed and sends me a check?
All support will be taken out of the noncustodial parent’s (NCP) paycheck. After an order of support has been entered, an order/notice to withhold income for child support will be served on the NCP’s employer. The money will be taken out the NCP’s Check and forwarded to the State Disbursement Center, in Carol Stream, Illinois. The State Disbursement Center will disburse the money to the proper party. The State’s Attorney’s Office has nothing to do with child support checks.
What happens when payment is not being made?
When a custodial parent has not received support, a call must be made to DCSE. You do not contact the State’s Attorneys Office. DCSE will review the case and decide if administrative remedies are appropriate or if judicial enforcement is warranted. DCSE may use administrative collection tools:
1. intercept state and federal income tax refund checks;
2. intercept lottery winnings;
3. withhold unemployment benefits;
4. place liens on property;
5. seize bank accounts;
6. place holds on passports, professional license and federal payments.
In most cases, DCSE sends a referral to the State’s Attorneys Office (SAO) for enforcement. The SAO will file a Rule to show cause. In the event the NCP fails to appear on the day of hearing, a body attachment will be issued for his/her failure to appear. If the NCP appears for the hearing and the judge finds the NCP failure to pay was contemptuous, The NCP could be sentenced up to 6 months in jail. The NCP will be given a “purge”–the amount of money that must be paid to get out of jail. If the NCP pays the purge, the sentenced does not have to be served.
What if I need to get my child support payment changed?
Custodial and noncustodial parents must contact DCSE in the event further action is required on their case. DCSE will refer to the State’s Attorney’s Office:
1) Petitions to modify child support;
2) Petitions to extend child support;
3) Petitions for entry of judgment;
4) Petitions for registration of foreign order ( enforcement of orders from other jurisdiction).