can you get child support from someone in prison?

Can a Mother Still Get Child Support if the Father is in Jail? | Illinois Child Support When the Obligor is in Prison

Updated on:
October 2, 2018

In this article, we 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 2018.


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 therefore 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.


If a child support obligor fails to make child support payments while in jail he or she could be held in contempt of court and face more legal issues as a result. The obvious basis for a claim to being unable to continue child support payments while in jail is the absence of an active income. If the father claims he is unable to 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 he or she 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 look at 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 that could be used to support the child.


As when the child support order was first created, the judge’s decision will be based on what is in the best interest of the child. 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.


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O'Flaherty Law is happy to meet with you by phone or at our offices in Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Naperville, St. Charles, Lake in the Hills and Tinley Park, Illinois.

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Can a Mother Still Get Child Support if the Father is in Jail? | Illinois Child Support When the Obligor is in Prison
Disclaimer: Our articles and comment responses do not constitute legal advice and are not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

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