Both parties have settled a case out of court after a Cook County Judge ordered the employer of the obligor on a child support order to pay $2.3 million dollars in a case that was originally filed for a total of only $7,820 in past due support payments.
The Wife in that case had filed suit when her ex-husband, who was the former finance manager of Country Chevrolet, was behind on child support. Per Illinois law, an employer can be fined $100 per day for intentionally failing to withhold wages, or for withholding and failing to turn over the payments within 7 days of withholding same. So, although Country Chevrolet eventually paid the past-due support, it took them approximately six years to do so.
Country Chevrolet could have avoided this mistake had it simply paid the amount due. The fact that it took them six years, and the fact that the ex-husband was the financial manager of the company, may have played into the Judge’s finding that the company had intentionally avoided the withholding.
Furthermore, the Judge found that the company had written a check that had bounced, and had produced witnesses in court that were not credible. The company could also no explain why it took six years to correct an alleged clerical issue.
Given the harsh penalties for failing to withhold, it is important that an employer finds out the requirements for withholding child support payments in that state and ensure proper compliance with same.
Both sides have agreed to not appeal.