What is the Illinois State Disbursement Unit?

Typically, when a court in the State of Illinois enters a child support order, payments are ordered to be sent to the Illinois State Disbursement Unit or to the Clerk of the County’s Circuit Court. The parties can enter into a written agreement that details alternative arrangements for the support payments, provided that the court approves the agreement.

The State Disbursement Unit (SDU) is the State’s child support payment processing center. The purpose of the SDU is to process all child support payments that it receives. The SDU tracks payments received and payments disbursed.

Sometimes a party is ordered to pay maintenance and child support. The SDU accepts payments for maintenance when the order also calls for child support payments. However, the SDU does not accept maintenance only payments. Likewise, the SDU will not process payments for other monies owed, such as payments for one’s attorney’s fees.

The party who is ordered to pay child support is often referred to as the “obligor” and the party receiving the support is then referred to as the “obligee.” Child support payments can be sent to the SDU directly by the obligor or by the obligor’s employer. Usually an employer sends in payments by check or by an electronic funds transfer (EFT). An obligor is able to send payments to the SDU by check or money order. Once the SDU receives a payment from an obligor or the obligor’s employer, the SDU disburses the payment to the obligee within forty-eight (48) hours. An obligee can receive their payment by check or direct deposit.

When payments are sent through the SDU, both the obligor and the obligee can create online accounts to review the payment and disbursement history for their case. Having child support payments processed through the SDU is a helpful tool to keep track of payments received and disbursed. However, remember that the SDU’s purpose is not to account for child support arrearage amounts. This means that if you become delinquent in your child support payments the SDU will not be able to give you a breakdown of how much you owe as of a certain date. The only “accounting” the SDU can provide, simply shows the date payments were received, payment amounts, and disbursement dates.

  • Download our Divorce Planning Guide today!
  • Download our Divorce Planning Guide today!

    Get the information you need to prepare for divorce with our free resource Guide to Planning for Your Divorce.

    click to download now!

What Our clients are saying

Excellent - I highly recommend Kimberly Anderson. She is knowledgeable, assertive, and experienced. What impressed me most about Kim is her dedication. I was able to reach her whenever there was a problem. She always responded immediately, proposed a solution, and put me at ease. The entire legal team at Anderson & Boback is superb.

Lisa March 29, 2018

  • Why Choose Anderson & Boback ?

  • ASLA Badge - Kimberly Anderson 2018
    BBB A+ Badge
    lawyers of distinction badge
    AVVO 10 Rating badge - generic
    Super Lawyers Generic badge

Schedule a Discreet Consultation Today!



  • firm overview Anderson & Boback

  • Anderson & Boback is a highly-respected, experienced Chicago family law firm, skilled in negotiation and litigation. When divorce and other family law issues make your life chaotic and uncertain, you want your case resolved as quickly and fairly as possible. Call Now 312-715-0870