Failure to Pay Child Support Could Mean Suspended Driver’s License

A relatively underutilized law allows Courts to suspend the driver’s license privileges of child support obligors who fail to meet their obligations. Common misconceptions about the law are that in order to suspend the license privileges there must first be a court finding of contempt against the payor and, once the payor’s license is suspended, he or she cannot drive at all (importantly, to work).

Section 505(b) of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (“IMDMA”) and the corresponding provisions of the Illinois Parentage Act (“IPA”) of 1984 (750 ILCS 45/15) each provide:

The court may also order in cases where the parent is 90 days or more delinquent in payment of support or has been adjudicated in arrears in an amount equal to 90 days obligation or more, that the parent’s Illinois driving privileges be suspended until the court determines that the parent is in compliance with the order of support.

The statutes go on to reference the Illinois Vehicle Code and state that the Court may also order the parent to be issued a family responsibility driving permit that would allow limited driving privileges for employment and medical purposes.

While the parent receiving child support may be reluctant to take any measures that may interfere with the payor’s ability to earn income, this remedy may be a viable option to discuss with your counsel depending on the circumstances. If your license has been suspended due to an alleged failure to pay support, it is critical to know that you can seek a permit to continue driving to your place of employment.

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