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RayAnswers, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  30 years as a family law lawyer .
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My son is a divorced father of two. He is a small remodeling

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My son is a divorced father of two. He is a small remodeling contractor and has had little work for the past two years, has lost his home and is essentially bankrupt (though has not filed). As a result of his loss of income, he has fallen severely behind in child support. He wants desperately to support his children and is a devoted dad. Several months ago, in a moment of anger, his ex-wife filed an action which resulted in suspension of his drivers' license.

She has since regretted this, realizing that his ability to earn and eventually catch up on support is hampered by her action. She also has acknowleged that she knows he wants to provide support, is a devoted father, etc., and she is willing to write a letter to try to have her action reversed. However, when he has called various Illinois bureaucrats, he has been told nothing can be done. We find this hard to believe, and are seeking legal assistance.

His ex-wife is relatively comfortable financially, with a good teaching position and a comfortable condo given her by her parents. She has taken the children on expensive vacations to Mexico, Costa Rica, Alaska, Italy and even Egypt over the past few years. He struggles to provide food and bare necessities for them when they are with him, but tries to add other support by taking them to virtually all their activities, being on call when they're sick, etc. etc. Because he's been unable to afford legal assistance, he has not tried to have the support arrangement adjusted. We wonder whether there is the possibility of revising its terms, as his income has dropped so drastically. Though we are not wealthy, we could provide some assistance in his securing legal services.

All parties reside in Illinois, in the Chicago area. We need advice on how he can restore a valid drivers' license, and also on whether he can seek to have the support terms revised. Any assistance will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 5 years ago.

RayAnswers :

Thanks for your question and good evening.

RayAnswers :

He should motion to modify the support orders based on his change of circumstances.He may well have the current support reduced.He may also be able to resolve the arrears and seek to life the suspension of his license.A lawyer here would greatly improve his chances of reducing all of this and getting the suspension lifted.

RayAnswers :

A lawyer for you here

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RayAnswers :

He can also call here about the suspension to see if he can resolve

RayAnswers :

All questions related to this suspension and compliance process should be directed to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services at (217) (NNN) NNN-NNNN To avoid suspension of driving privileges, the individual must contact the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services and make payment arrangements for their child support obligation.



It would seem he should first try to get his license cleared, as she has indicated a willingness to cooperate in that. If he first files to change the support, she is more likely to resist. Can he reverse the order of these actions?

RayAnswers :

Well he can call here--he has to resolve the arrears.Then he can proceed to file.He ha nothing to loose here even if he has to file himself pro se--here are self help forms and step by step.

RayAnswers :

Law for reference

RayAnswers :

Modification of Support (Reduction): A non-custodial parent may be able to reduce his or her child support payments based on a "substantial change in circumstances;" that is, when new circumstances justify it. Generally speaking, the court will permit a reduction where the change in circumstances is beyond the control of the parent paying support. For example, if you pay support and you get laid off from your job, the court will probably grant a reduction in your support payments.

RayAnswers :

I wish him good luck resolving all of this.It can be done.He has good facts to present for modification here.

RayAnswers :

And have a happy halloween..


If he could afford to resolve the arrears, he would. He first needs the license cleared to be able to try to work without risk of arrest for driving on a suspended license. Are you saying he can't do that without first paying the arrears?

RayAnswers :

They will want a repayment agreement here --monthly payments of some kind to life the suspension here on the arrears.

RayAnswers :

I wish I could tell you otherwise but they will not lift it otherwise.

RayAnswers :

Here is another option he can try for work license

RayAnswers :

Illinois law does provide for the issuance of a “family financial responsibility driving permit” in accordance with Section 702.1 of the Illinois Vehicle Code. 625 ILCS 5/7-702.1. This Section states (with emphasis added):

Sec. 7-702.1. Family financial responsibility driving permits.
Following the entry of an order that an obligor has been found in contempt by the court for failure to pay court ordered child support payments or upon a motion by the obligor who is subject to having his or her driver's license suspended pursuant to subsection (b) of Section 7-703, the court may enter an order directing the Secretary of State to issue a family financial responsibility driving permit for the purpose of providing the obligor the privilege of operating a motor vehicle between the obligor's residence and place of employment, or within the scope of employment related duties; or for the purpose of providing transportation for the obligor or a household member to receive alcohol treatment, other drug treatment, or medical care. The court may enter an order directing the issuance of a permit only if the obligor has proven to the satisfaction of the court that no alternative means of transportation are reasonably available for the above stated purposes. No permit shall be issued to a person under the age of 16 years who possesses an instruction permit.

Upon entry of an order granting the issuance of a permit to an obligor, the court shall report this finding to the Secretary of State on a form prescribed by the Secretary. This form shall state whether the permit has been granted for employment or medical purposes and the specific days and hours for which limited driving privileges have been granted.

The family financial responsibility driving permit shall be subject to cancellation, invalidation, suspension, and revocation by the Secretary of State in the same manner and for the same reasons as a driver's license may be cancelled, invalidated, suspended, or revoked.

The Secretary of State shall, upon receipt of a certified court order from the court of jurisdiction, issue a family financial responsibility driving permit. In order for this permit to be issued, an individual's driving privileges must be valid except for the family financial responsibility suspension. This permit shall be valid only for employment and medical purposes as set forth above. The permit shall state the days and hours for which limited driving privileges have been granted.

Any submitted court order that contains insufficient data or fails to comply with any provision of this Code shall not be used for issuance of the permit or entered to the individual's driving record but shall be returned to the court of jurisdiction indicating why the permit cannot be issued at that time. The Secretary of State shall also send notice of the return of the court order to the individual requesting the permit.

The above-referenced provisions impose upon the obligor parent the burden of proving “to the satisfaction of the court that no alternative means of transportation are reasonably available for the above stated purposes” and, if said burden is met, the court may then enter an order directing the issuance of a family financial responsibility driving permit.

RayAnswers :

Ask the lawyer about filing for this here as an option.

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