My Ex Gets Paid Cash—How Do I Enforce Child Support?
By: M. Scott Gordon
When one parent in the Chicago area does not provide his or her portion of the child support obligation, child support collections and child support enforcement may be necessary regardless of the circumstances. And no matter what the case might be, the need for child support enforcement and collections often results in a hardship for the child or children who need the support. This issue can become more complicated when one of the parents gets paid cash “under the table.” What can the other parent do in these circumstances if there is no employer from which to withhold child support in order to collect?
In other words, when one of the parents works but gets paid in cash “under the table” and stops making child support payments, how does enforcement and collection work?
Working with a Lawyer to Prove Your Ex’s Income
The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services provides information about child support collections and enforcing child support orders. To enforce a child support obligation, the other parent typically needs to file a motion for enforcement of the child support order. You also might hear about this as a contempt proceeding against the other parent. In effect, if the other parent is not providing his or her portion of the child support obligation, then that parent may be in contempt with regard to the terms of the child support order. You should know that you are not alone in filing this type of motion. Indeed, it happens often when one of the parents is not making child support payments and is working under the table for cash that is not being properly reported.
By working with a Chicago area child support lawyer, you may be able to prove that your ex is getting paid in cash. An investigator can take many different steps to prove this. For instance, an investigator can provide evidence that your ex is going to work regularly. In addition, your lawyer can discuss ways to obtain your ex’s bank account records to show that deposits are being made in cash on a regular basis from income.
Imputing Income for Child Support in Illinois
If you know your ex is working under the table and getting paid in cash—meaning that the employer is not deducting taxes from the wages, and there are no clear records of the amount that your ex is getting paid—you might be worried that your ex can argue that he or she simply is not making any money and thus cannot pay his or her portion of the child support obligation. In these situations, if you cannot prove your ex is working under the table, the court may be able to do something known as “imputing” income.
Even if you cannot prove that your ex is getting paid in cash, this does not mean that your ex is not required to provide his or her portion of the child support obligation. When a court determines that a parent is unemployed by choice or has failed to get a job when she or he could do so, the court can impute income. Your ex may be saying that she or he is unemployed (despite getting paid in cash under the table), so imputing income may be possible. When the court imputes income, it attributes a certain amount of income to the parent based on his or her educational and employment background.
Contact a Child Support Collections Lawyer in Chicago
If your ex gets paid in cash and is not contributing to the child support obligation, you should contact a Chicago child support collections attorney to learn more about your options. Contact Gordon & Perlut, LLC to learn more about how we can help with your case.