The State of Illinois has a State Disbursement Unit, which is a center that is used to process and pay out child support and spousal support payments. The State Disbursement Unit, or, the “SDU” as it is called, receives payments from people that owe a duty of support and then can send a check to a recipient, or, even directly deposit the funds into the recipient’s bank account, depending upon what election is made by the recipient.
Parties are not necessarily obligated to use the SDU; in fact, if parties agree to use a direct payment method instead of having payments withheld from the payor’s pay, that is acceptable. If the parties cannot agree on a method of payment, then the payments are typically withheld and sent to the SDU for disbursement to the recipient. The parties can choose not to use the SDU, but only if they agree.
The SDU provides many benefits that are attractive to parties that are paying and receiving support. First, the SDU keeps track of payments. However, parties will want to keep their own records in case of any future errors. Second, the SDU can calculate interest that is due on missed payments. Third, the SDU can also disburse the payments directly into the recipient’s bank account through a direct deposit. There are also some negatives to using the SDU. Sometimes the SDU will miss payments, and account adjustments will have to be ordered, which is supposed to show all payments made and received as well as the dates. Parties have to keep their own records to ensure that any mistakes made by the SDU can be corrected. It is also quite a process to stop withholding once a support obligation terminates, which can end up causing overpayment of support. Whether or not to use the SDU for payments of support is something the parties should discuss and which varies depending upon the situation. There are many pro’s and con’s to paying directly to the support recipient as well. It is fairly certain that if the parties cannot agree on how support should be paid, or if payments are continually made late, they will be withheld by the payor’s employer and processed through the SDU to the recipient.