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Kevin O'Flaherty

This article will answer the question, “can a mother still get child support if the father is in jail?” The answer to this question is yes, a child support recipient may still receive child support even if the obligor is in jail. For an in-depth explanation of Illinois child support laws, check out our article: Illinois Child Support 2019

Just because a child support obligor goes to jail does not automatically mean child support payments will stop. Child support is a court order and can only be modified by a judge. Under Illinois law, a child support order is eligible for review whenever there’s a significant change in the child’s needs or the financial situation of either party. 

Suppose a child support obligor fails to make child support payments while in jail; they could be held in contempt of court and face more legal issues. The apparent basis for a claim of being unable to continue child support payments while in jail is the absence of an active income. If the father claims he cannot continue payments while incarcerated, he must make these claims to a judge via a motion to modify child support. For more on modifying child support orders, check out our article: Illinois Child Support Modification Explained. 

The judge will review the father or non-custodial parent’s claims and determine whether or not they can still make child support payments while serving time in jail. The judge can either rule the payments shall remain the same, be lowered, or be terminated while the non-custodial parent is in jail. 

In the absence of income, the judge will examine whether the non-custodial parent has assets that could be used to pay child support. These assets may include:

·    Interest or dividend income from investments, such as stocks or bonds;

·    Money from selling investment assets, such as stocks or bonds;

·    Rental generated income or money from selling real estate property;

·    Disability, retirement, or other similar benefits;

·    Bank accounts, retirement accounts, or other accounts could be used to support the child.

When the child support order is first created, the judge’s decision will be based on what is in the child’s best interest. If a father claims he cannot pay child support due to lack of income, but the judge finds the father has sufficient assets that can be used to support the child, the judge is likely to order the continuity of child support payments.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Each individual's legal needs are unique, and these materials may not be applicable to your legal situation. Always seek the advice of a competent attorney with any questions you may have regarding a legal issue. Do not disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.


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