One of the most efficient tools that the family court system and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) have long used to ensure compliance with orders for child support and parenting time has been to suspend the driver’s licenses of persons who have not followed those orders. Suspensions for failure to follow orders for parenting time have typically included some leniency, with the driver’s license being reinstated once the court determines that the party has sufficiently complied for a sufficient amount of time. This can be a repetitive remedy, as the license can be suspended again if the non-compliance repeats, and reinstated again once the person follows the order for a sufficient period of time. Naturally, in many cases, the “sufficient period” extends with each suspension, allowing the court to monitor and ensure prolonged compliance with its orders.
However, suspensions for failure to pay support have not been so forgiving in the past. On the first suspension for non-payment of support, the license can only be reinstated after a certain percentage, set by the Secretary of State, of the total arrearage has been paid. On second suspension, the statute previously stated that the payor had to pay the entire arrearage before having their license reinstated. Recently, the Illinois Legislature has amended 625 ILCS 7/704(b) to include a more forgiving schedule. On second suspension, the payor can now propose a payment plan to pay off the arrearage amount and remain current on payments of the ongoing support obligation. If the judge approves this payment plan, the payor may have their driver’s license reinstated. The license can then be suspended again if the payor falls behind in this payment plan, and the judge will have discretion whether to grant a new payment plan or to force the payor to pay the entire arrearage before reinstating the driver’s license.
Kiswani Law, P.C. understands that a driver’s license can be essential to finding and keeping a job that will allow a payor to repay the arrearage and current support obligation, and we can be there to help you draft a proposed payment plan that the judge will accept. Call us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.
Written By: Stephanie Gilbert