Monday, July 9, 2012

Deadbeats Don't Drive (and sometimes even if you're not a deadbeat)

In Illinois the Family Financial Responsibility Act, allows the courts and the child support collection services of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS) to suspend the driver's license of parents that falls behind in making court-ordered child-support payments. The law outlines two ways for this to happen:

1) Court Ordered Suspension

A Will County judge may rule that a parent is at least 90 days behind on child support payments. The court notifies the Secretary of State's office that the parent is in contempt of court for failure to pay child support. The Record of Non-Payment of Court Ordered Child Support Family Responsibility Law is completed, certified by the court and submitted to the Secretary of State's office which results in the pending suspension being loaded onto the driving record. The Secretary of State's office notifies the driver that a license suspension will become effective in 60 days. The suspension can be avoided if the Secretary of State's office is notified that the parent has met the court's requirements. Once the individual has complied with the child support obligations, the court will submit the Compliance of Family Financial Responsibility Law to the Secretary of State's office. The parent also may request an administrative hearing with the Secretary of State's office during the 60-day period following notification. A delinquent parent's driver's license will remain suspended until the Secretary of State's office receives notice from the court that the parent is in compliance with the court order of support. The court can order the Secretary of State's office to provide the delinquent parent with a Family Financial Responsibility driving permit to allow travel for work, or medical purposes.

2) DHFS-Ordered Suspension

The law also gives authority to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services to request that the Secretary of State's office suspend the driver's license of a parent who is 90 days or more delinquent in child support payments. DHFS reports cases of individuals who are 90 days or more in arrears in child support payments directly to the Secretary of State's office. The Secretary of State's office then notifies the driver that a license suspension will become effective in 60 days. The suspension can be avoided if the Secretary of State's office is notified by DHFS that the parent has met their child support obligations. No driving permit is available for DHFS ordered suspensions.
For more information, you can call the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services at 217-524-2936. To avoid suspension of driving privileges, the individual must contact the DHFS and make payment arrangements for their child support obligation.

Our office can assist those seeking to either suspend someone's license because of nonpayment of child support - usually through filing a contempt petition that seeks not only license suspension but the imposition of penalties and seek attorney fees for the personal failure to follow a child support order. We also help those seeking to lift a suspension which are at time improperly placed. In either case, before you contact our office, get a copy of all your court documents if you can. Also, it is often helpful to get a print-out of payments from the State Disbursement Unit to start the calculation of the arrearage. You can also get a copy of this print out at the Will County Courthouse for $3.00.

Tony Andreano, (815) 954-8175
www.andreanoandlyons.com