How Do I Find Out How Much Back Child Support I Owe in Illinois

How Do I Find Out How Much Back Child Support I Owe in Illinois?

Child support is a legal obligation that a noncustodial parent must fulfill to ensure the financial well-being of their child. However, in some cases, the noncustodial parent may fall behind on their child support payments, resulting in a significant amount of back child support owed. If you find yourself in this situation in Illinois, here’s how you can determine the amount you owe.

1. Start with the Illinois State Disbursement Unit (SDU): The first step is to contact the Illinois State Disbursement Unit, which is responsible for collecting and distributing child support payments in the state. They maintain records of all child support payments, including any arrears.

2. Gather necessary information: To accurately determine the amount of back child support owed, you’ll need to provide certain information such as your full name, social security number, and the name of the custodial parent.

3. Contact the SDU: You can contact the SDU by phone, mail, or through their website. They will guide you through the process of obtaining information about your back child support.

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4. Request a statement: Ask the SDU to provide a statement detailing the total amount of back child support owed. This statement will include the principal amount, any interest accrued, and any other applicable fees.

5. Review the statement: Carefully review the statement to ensure its accuracy. If you believe there is an error, contact the SDU immediately to rectify the situation.

6. Consider legal assistance: If you find the process challenging or face any difficulties, it may be beneficial to seek legal assistance. An attorney experienced in family law can guide you through the process and ensure your rights are protected.


1. How far back can I go to claim back child support in Illinois?
In Illinois, you can typically claim back child support for up to 20 years from the date of the child’s emancipation.

2. Can child support arrears be discharged in bankruptcy?
No, child support arrears cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. They are considered a priority debt and must be paid.

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3. Can interest be charged on child support arrears?
Yes, interest can be charged on child support arrears in Illinois. The rate is usually set annually by the state.

4. What happens if I can’t afford to pay the back child support owed?
If you’re unable to pay the back child support owed, you should contact the SDU and explain your situation. They may be able to work out a payment plan or modify the amount owed based on your financial circumstances.

5. Can I negotiate a settlement for my back child support owed?
In some cases, you may be able to negotiate a settlement for your back child support owed. Consulting with an attorney can help you understand your options and navigate this process.

6. Will I face penalties for not paying child support?
Yes, there can be penalties for failing to pay child support in Illinois. These penalties may include wage garnishment, suspension of driver’s license, or even imprisonment in extreme cases.

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7. Can child support be modified if I can’t afford the current payments?
Yes, child support can be modified if there has been a significant change in your financial circumstances. You will need to file a petition with the court to request a modification.

8. Can child support arrears be forgiven?
Child support arrears cannot be forgiven. Even if the custodial parent agrees to forgive the arrears, the state will continue to enforce the outstanding amount.

9. Can I withhold visitation if the other parent is not paying child support?
No, visitation rights and child support are separate issues. Withholding visitation is not recommended and can lead to legal consequences. If you have concerns about child support, consult with an attorney to explore your options.