Child support orders are common outcomes of divorce and child custody cases, especially when one parent receives sole physical custody. All child support orders serve the same purpose: to outline the specific financial responsibilities of one parent and ensure all child care costs are covered. However, there are two different types of orders, and one requires an additional step to make the order enforceable: registration.
Administrative Support Orders in Illinois
More than 20 states establish child support requirements exclusively through the court system. In these states, all child support orders are judicial, which means a judge presides over the process (usually in a courtroom) and issues the final order. In Illinois, however, child support orders may be judicial or administrative.
Orders determined by the a state child support agency, rather than the judicial system, are considered administrative. Illinois Child Support Services establishes all administrative orders with attorney involvement, but most are issued without an administrative hearing. Instead, hearing officers or judges oversee the process in an administrative office, sometimes even at the agency itself.
Because administrative support orders don’t always involve the judicial system, they are not enforceable by the State until they are legally registered with a circuit court. This registration process includes a number of requirements, which allow court officials to ensure its authenticity and keep track of all past and future payment obligations.
State Registration Requirements for Child Support Orders
The parent responsible for providing financial support is the obligor, while the parent or guardian who will receive it is the obligee. The Illinois Public Aid Code outlines the requirements for registering an administrative support order with the State in Public Act 097-0926. According to this Act, obligees must register two copies of the final order, including at least one certified copy, along with the following:
- Obligor’s name, address, and social security number
- Obligee’s name and address
- Sworn statement or certified payment record of any past due payments (if applicable)
- Voluntary paternity acknowledgement (if applicable)
- Modifications to the administrative support order (if applicable)
Chicago divorce attorneys guide clients through the legal nuances of the registration process, which protects both parties and their children by defining very clear payment requirements. Until the orders are registered with all required documents intact, obligors will face no criminal consequences for failing to pay, and obligees will not be responsible for providing any required financial updates or following the terms of the agreement.