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Who is required to cooperate in child support enforcement?

Who is required to cooperate in child support enforcement?

An Illinois resident who has custody of a child may find that a need to seek public assistance related to the medical care of the child may arise. In such cases, a public entity may have to conduct activities related to the support of the child in question, and the cooperation of the custodial adult may be required.

Those obligated to assist in child support enforcement activities are custodial parents, including minor parents or step-parents involved in a case along with a legal parent. Some custodial parents, however, may not be required to cooperate with such activities if they only receive support services for their child and not for personal needs. On the other hand, an individual who cares for a child but is not a custodial parent is not subject to cooperation requirements related to child support enforcement even if he or she also receives public assistance. In cases involving a custodial parent who does not obtain personal benefits and who is not required to cooperate, cooperation could later be required if that individual applies for benefits.

Requirements for cooperation may vary based on the public assistance in question. For example, a 2002 federal law determined that parental cooperation with child enforcement efforts was not required for children to receive benefits in some programs. Income is a basis in some cases, and parents whose income exceeds the standard in Family Health Plans are not required to cooperate. Parents may still apply for services even if cooperation is not required as a result of income levels.

A parent who is dealing with sanctions or cancellation of benefits in spite of cooperation may find that an attorney is helpful for addressing the issue with a public agency. Additionally, the attorney could be able to help a parent dealing with a change in circumstances as they address the requirements that must be met to receive certain types of assistance.

Learn more about child support enforcement and your family law rights: contact James M Kelly for a free consultation. He expertly handles Illinois divorce and bankruptcy cases in Palatine, Arlington Heights, Rolling Meadows, Lake County, Cook County and surrounding areas.

Source: Illinois Department of Human Services, "Penalty for Failure to Cooperate (TANF)", October 17, 2014

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