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Agreed Order: Child Support Enforcement Services Will Continue

Contact: Michelle Nicolet, Marketing Director

Earlier this year, the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law acted to enforce the consent decree in King v. Patla, which requires Illinois officials to provide timely services under the federally funded Illinois Child Support Enforcement Program. In the wake of the budget impasse, the state had failed in its obligations to pay the Cook County State’s Attorney, Clerk of the Circuit Court, Sheriff, and Court under existing, long-standing contracts to enforce and process child support orders. Our motion sought to compel the state to make past-due payments under those contracts for FY 2016.

Child support is a fundamental income support for many families living at or near the poverty line. For families that depend on child support to care for their children, it is critical that enforcement mechanisms to ensure child support payments are operating.

The state’s failure to pay Cook County over $17 million for the work performed since July 1, 2016, threatened the county’s ability to continue its parts of the Child Support Enforcement System and put thousands of cases and millions of dollars of child support in peril.

The Shriver Center and Illinois state officials have now entered into an Agreed Order that requires the state to enter into FY 2017 contracts with Cook County and pay the County timely for its FY 2017 work. (The county will be paid for its FY 2016 work under the budget the General Assembly passed and Governor Rauner signed on June 30, 2016.) The Agreed Order will ensure that the child support system continues to function at a high level and get needed child support funds to families. 

The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law provides national leadership in advancing laws and policies that secure justice to improve the lives and opportunities of people living in poverty. We specialize in practical solutions. We advocate for and serve clients directly, while also building the capacity of the nation’s legal aid providers to advance justice and opportunity for their clients.

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