State’s Attorney versus Retaining an Attorney

If you are a custodial parent seeking child support from the non-custodial parent, there are two different and very separate routes for representation you can take to proceed with your case.

 One option is to start a case through the State’s Attorney’s Office.  The State’s Attorney represents the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, but can obtain or enforce child support from the non-custodial parent on your behalf.  Though the State’s Attorney’s Office provides these services free of charge, their office handles a very significant case load and this may result in a very lengthy proceeding.  Further, the State’s Attorney can only provide representation on your behalf for the issue of child support and no other matters.  This means that they cannot litigate any child custody, visitation or property distribution issues.  Moreover, they only handle child support, and cannot pursue college or educational expenses on your behalf from the non-custodial parent.

A second option is to retain your own attorney that handles child support and any other related issues relevant to your case.  In contrast to the State’s Attorney, your retained attorney will be representing you throughout the proceeding and can deal with issues that regularly arise in conjunction with child support, including custody, visitation, and college expenses.  Oftentimes, this process of having an attorney prepare and present the motions for support or other matters and to appear in court is quicker than doing it through the State’s Attorney.  You can also correspond with your attorney on an ongoing basis and direct any questions about your case to him or her.


If you are considering starting the process to pursue child support, feel free to call our office to further discuss your options and to determine what the best method is for you.

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