You may ask the court to make a parent who is not following a Uniform Order for Support to follow it. This is called enforcing.
You should first try to work out the problem with the other party before going to court. If you are having trouble talking with the other party, you may want to try mediation. If mediation does not work, going to court may be the best option to enforce or modify your judgment or order.
1. Fill out child support enforcement forms
Fill out and sign the forms listed below. Make three copies of each form.
2. File your forms with the court
Now that you have filled out your forms, you need to file them with the clerk. The method you are required to use depends on the county where you are filing.
- E-filing: Most counties require you to file your forms and documents electronically. See E-Filing Basics for more information.
- Paper filing: If your county allows paper filing, or you have an E-filing Exemption Certificate, take your completed forms to the circuit court clerk's office in the courthouse. See courthouse locations. The clerk will stamp your forms. This stamp is important because it's proof that you filed the form with the court. They will give you a copy for your records.
There is no fee to use eFileIL, but there is a fee to file most forms with the court and additional court costs. The amount depends on the type of case you have and the county where you are filing. Contact your local circuit clerk's office for information on the fees. If you do not pay the fees required your e-filed document may be rejected. These fees are calculated by the eFileIL system and may also include a credit card or eCheck processing fee.
If you do not have money to pay court fees, use the Application for Waiver of Court Fees program.
How you will find out about the court date (or hearing date) and time depends on how you filed your case.
- E-filing: The website you used to electronically file may let you pick your court date (or hearing date) and time. If it does not, contact the clerk.
- Paper filing: If you filed in person at the courthouse, the clerk will let you pick or they may pick for you.
4. Go to court
Go to court on the day listed on your Notice.
You have the right to represent yourself in court. However, you will be expected to follow the court's rules and procedures when representing yourself. The judge and court staff are not allowed to give you advice or help you with your case. To navigate the court system, you need to know some basic information about your case. Most of the information should be listed on court papers:
- Plaintiff's or Petitioner's name
- Defendant's or Respondent's name
- Case number
- Judicial circuit
If you are filing a case, you are called the plaintiff. If a case has been filed against you, you are called the defendant. In some cases, the plaintiff is called the petitioner, and the defendant is called the respondent.
- Be polite and dress the way you would for a job interview;
- Get to the courthouse at least 30 minutes before your hearing time;
- Go to the courtroom listed on your court forms. If your forms do not have a courtroom number, look for a list of cases at the courthouse or ask the circuit clerk;
- Check-in quietly with the courtroom staff;
- Wait for your name and case number to be called;
- When your case is called, walk up to the judge and introduce yourself;
- Explain briefly what you want out of the case;
- After listening to you and to the other side, the judge tells you what happens next.
After you and the other party have had a chance to speak the judge will make a decision. It can often take several court dates for the matter to be resolved. This means that the judge may not make a final decision on your first trip to court.
If this is your first time going to court, learn more about the process of Going to court in Illinois.
Updated: January 2018