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How can one avoid going to jail for failure to pay support?

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Besides the obvious answer of pay the support required by court order, there are some steps to take to avoid the issue.

As soon as there is a change in your income, immediately get a motion to modify support on file. Too often, people assume that they will be readily back at the former income or don’t want their former spouse to know that things have changed. Support can only be changed from the date the motion is filed going forward and not backward in time.

Keep very detailed records of the payments that you have made. Making payments through the State Disbursement Unit is an excellent way to maintain those records. Arranging for electronic transfers or payments directly from your check is also advisable.

If you have reached an agreement with your former partner to modify payments, enter an agreed order to confirm that. If you don’t, the agreement may not be recognized by the court.

If you have missed payments due to a change in financial circumstances, keep track of every penny that comes in and out for you. If you are not receiving income, are only paying for the necessities of life and can prove this with specific details, you may avoid being found to be in contempt of court.

If you are found to be in contempt of court and a purge is set that requires you to pay a specific amount by a certain date, do it. This is the time to get a loan, ask for help, pick up an extra job or a job that you would not otherwise consider. Once you get to this point, failure to pay may likely result in a trip to jail until the amount is paid.

Wakeman Law Group

741 S. McHenry Avenue

Crystal Lake, IL 60014

815.893.6800

https://wakemanlaw.net/

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