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Body Attachment for Failure to Pay Support

Categorized as Child Support, Spousal Support

Section 713 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/713) addresses body attachments for failure to pay maintenance or child support.  As used in this Section, “obligor” has the same meaning ascribed to such term in the Income Withholding for Support Act.  The following provisions provides for the court’s authority to issue body attachments and the procedures subsequent to the arrest.


(a)    In any proceeding to enforce an order for support, where the obligor has failed to appear in court pursuant to order of court and after due notice thereof, the court may enter an order for the attachment of the body of the obligor. Notices under this Section shall be served upon the obligor by any means authorized under subsection (a-5) of Section 505. The attachment order shall fix an amount of escrow which is equal to a minimum of 20% of the total child support arrearage alleged by the obligee in sworn testimony to be due and owing. The attachment order shall direct the Sheriff of any county in Illinois to take the obligor into custody and shall set the number of days following release from custody for a hearing to be held at which the obligor must appear, if he is released under subsection (b) of this Section.

(b)   If the obligor is taken into custody, the Sheriff shall take the obligor before the court which entered the attachment order. However, the Sheriff may release the person after he or she has deposited the amount of escrow ordered by the court pursuant to local procedures for the posting of bond. The Sheriff shall advise the obligor of the hearing date at which the obligor is required to appear.

(c)    Any escrow deposited pursuant to this Section shall be transmitted to the Clerk of the Circuit Court for the county in which the order for attachment of the body of the obligor was entered. Any Clerk who receives money deposited into escrow pursuant to this Section shall notify the obligee, public office or legal counsel whose name appears on the attachment order of the court date at which the obligor is required to appear and the amount deposited into escrow. The Clerk shall disburse such money to the obligee only under an order from the court that entered the attachment order pursuant to this Section.

(d)   Whenever an obligor is taken before the court by the Sheriff, or appears in court after the court has ordered the attachment of his body, the court shall:

(1) hold a hearing on the complaint or petition that gave rise to the attachment order. For purposes of determining arrearages that are due and owing by the obligor, the court shall accept the previous sworn testimony of the obligee as true and the appearance of the obligee shall not be required. The court shall require sworn testimony of the obligor as to the last 4 digits of his or her Social Security number, income, employment, bank accounts, property and any other assets. If there is a dispute as to the total amount of arrearages, the court shall proceed as in any other case as to the undisputed amounts; and,

(2) order the Clerk of the Circuit Court to disburse to the obligee or public office money held in escrow pursuant to this Section if the court finds that the amount of arrearages exceeds the amount of the escrow. Amounts received by the obligee or public office shall be deducted from the amount of the arrearages.

(e)    If the obligor fails to appear in court after being notified of the court date by the Sheriff upon release from custody, the court shall order any monies deposited into escrow to be immediately released to the obligee or public office and shall proceed under subsection (a) of this Section by entering another order for the attachment of the body of the obligor.

(f)     This Section shall apply to any order for support issued under the “Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act”, approved September 22, 1977, as amended; the Illinois Parentage Act of 2015; the “Illinois Parentage Act of 1984”, effective July 1, 1985, as amended; the “Revised Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act”, approved August 28, 1969, as amended; “The Illinois Public Aid Code”, approved April 11, 1967, as amended; the Non-Support Punishment Act; and the “Non-support of Spouse and Children Act”, approved June 8, 1953, as amended.

(g)   Any escrow established pursuant to this Section for the purpose of providing support shall not be subject to fees collected by the Clerk of the Circuit Court for any other escrow.

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