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What can I do if my self-employed ex isn't paying support?

As this blog has discussed on previous occasions, many Illinois parents make their living through self-employment. For instance, many service professionals and consultants from a range of industries are in business for themselves and make their money by selling their goods or services directly to customers.

These people, of course, still have an obligation to pay child support in proportion to their income and according to Illinois law. Unfortunately, though, collecting support from a Peoria resident who is self-employed isn't always as simple as garnishing a paycheck. Sadly, some parents may even use their status as self-employed to try to hide their money or otherwise avoid meeting their obligations to their children.

Is in all cases where a parent is refusing to pay child support, the other parent may ask the court to hold the delinquent parent in contempt of court. Upon finding a parent in contempt, the court can put the parent in jail or fine him or her until such time as he or she pays support.

However, when it comes to self-employed parents, courts have additional powers. For instance, the court can order the parent to provide detailed financial statements each month regarding the performance of his or her business. Moreover, if the parent's business is not bringing in enough income to pay support, then the court can also require the parent to look for other employment.

Finally, a court also has some authority to examine the assets of a parent's business to see if any items can be taken and used to pay off the parent's support debt. When doing so, the court is free to set aside certain transactions that seem to be part of an effort to dodge child support payments.

Dealing with a parent who is using his or her status as self-employed to avoid child support is frustrating, but there legal tools available for doing so.

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