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Illinois father wrongfully assessed $5K in back child support

A father who had faithfully paid child support for more than 10 years faced a sudden problem when his ex-girlfriend, and the mother of his daughters, moved to Mississippi. Suddenly, he found that the state calculated that he owed more than $900 in back child support. He willingly submitted to a new Illinois child support order and began paying extra each week to make up the deficit. However, although the deficit was paid off early in 2011, the new order was not modified to reflect this, and he was still paying additional money, which created an overage.

Furthermore, the state of Illinois began bypassing the state of Mississippi and sending the money directly to his ex-girlfriend. Because of this, Mississippi officials assumed that the father had stopped making payments and confiscated his federal income tax return, claiming that he owed more than $5,100 in back child support.


The Chicago Tribune caught wind of the man's story and called a spokesperson for the state of Illinois. While the majority of the situation has been worked out, there still remains the problem of the outstanding court order, in which child support is set too high.

A family law attorney can help parents in this situation by representing them in an action to modify a child support order. Child support orders are made by judges, not by the states that administer them. Therefore, in order to resolve a child support issue, many people must pursue relief through the courts rather than the child support agencies. This can be confusing, which is why it may be beneficial to seek advice from an experienced family law attorney.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Problem Solver: Child support case becomes a hot mess," Jon Yates, Nov. 18, 2012

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