An issue that often arises after the parties have been divorced is past due child support. Oftentimes, the party obligated to pay support will fall behind on their payments. In order to collect, the party owed support must bring the case back to court. This can be a costly procedure, which is why some parties will wait to bring their case back to court. However, what happens if the party waits to collect on past due child support? Will the party waive their right to collect on the past due support?
This may surprise some people, but past due child support can be collected at any time – even after the child becomes an adult. Prior to 1997, the law stated that a party to collect their past due support within twenty years of the time it was due. If the party waited over twenty years to collect the past due child support, then they waived their right to collect. However, on July 1, 1997, Section 12-108 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure was enacted. Section 12-108 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure provides that “Child support judgments, including those arising by operation of law, may be enforced at any time.” What this means is, a party owed past due child support can collect that support even if they wait over twenty years to collect. In fact, some courts have awarded past due child support twenty-six years after the child support was owed.
Anderson & Boback is involved in a case where the party owing support failed to pay our client child support for over forty years. This case is currently before the First District Appellate Court to determine whether our client may collect this past due support despite the forty year lapse in time. Janice L. Boback will argue this matter before the First District Appellate Court on November 14, 2013. If you feel you are owed past due child support, feel free to contact our office for a consultation.