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Using voluntary impoverishment to avoid child support

19208847_S.jpgSome parents in Illinois may be struggling to collect child support from their exes. The parent who is owed support may suspect the other parent of underreporting income or deliberately earning less in order to avoid higher child support payments. The latter is known as "voluntary impoverishment," and there are ways to detect if this might be happening.

The office of child support enforcement can assist a parent in collecting support. If the parents do not already have a legally binding support arrangement in place, this office can help in filing for one. The office can also investigate if there is unreported income. One way to do this is by looking into whether the person has recently applied for a purchase on credit and to examine the sources of income reported on the application.

The office may also look at a parent's employment history and education to determine what their earnings should be. If the person is earning significantly less, this may indicate that voluntary impoverishment is an issue.

There are various ways to compel a parent to pay child support. However, a parent who has a child support order and can no longer continue paying the amount ordered also has recourse. With legal assistance, the parent can apply to the court for a child support modification as a result of changed circumstances. Until the request is approved, the parent will continue to owe the original amount, and the parent may be required to make up missed payments prior to the approval. A parent who is not receiving the child support owed is not permitted to deny the other parent access to the child because of the lack of payment.

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