Can I have child support withheld from my spouse's paycheck if he or she lives out of state?

Out of State employers have to honor court orders issued in Illinois that require income withholding for child support. In other words, if you live in Illinois and are divorced here, the court can order your spouse to pay child support (this assumes that the kids live with you).  You can ask that your ex's wages be garnished for child support. By doing this, your ex's employer will have to withhold the correct dollar amount from his or her paycheck, just like they have to withhold money for taxes. That amount then is sent to the State of Illinois' State Disbursement Unit and they turn around and pay it to you.  Many people whose soon to be ex- spouse lives and works outside of Illinois wonder if they can still have child support withheld and sent to the state. The answer is yes.  All employers are legally required to honor income withholding orders for support ("IWO"), inlcuding those issued in another state or territory.  The U.S. goverment requires a standard form and under Illinois law (305 ILCS 5/10-16.2), courts here can use this universal Order/Notice for Income Withholding for Support. The order must specify the following information:  

  • Employee's name & address, support order number and Social Security number
  • Date the support order begins (usually close to the time that the court orders it, but not always)
  • Various pay cycles to enable the employer to comply with Orders/Notices without varying their pay cycles
  • Dollar amount required to be withheld for current support
  • Dollar amount required to be paid periodically for payment of any past-due support
  • Total amount to be withheld
  • Frequency for withholding
  • Any required premium to be withheld if enrollment for a child as a beneficiary of a health insurance plan is required 

Don't let the fact that your spouse lives out of state scare you. So long as you meet the residency requirements to file for divorce in Illinois, it can be done.  For more information about divorce in Illinois, grab a free copy of our book "Defending the Ending" or set up an appointment to come sit down with us at either location- Schaumburg or Itasca. We look forward to speaking with you. 

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Carol O'Connor Cadiz
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Attorney & Owner at O'Connor Cadiz Law: Bankruptcy, Injury, Real Estate & Mediation