How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Phillips Esq. Your Own Question
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 19471
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Phillips Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I was divorced in Illinois in 1998 with the court deciding

Customer Question

I was divorced in Illinois in 1998 with the court deciding neither party would pay child support. later my ex wife quits her job and goes on welfare at which time the state of Illinois demands child support from me. I comply and stay current on my payments until 2007 when I am incarcerated for a period of five years in the state of California. Upon my release in June 2011, I cash out a 401K retirement fund to restart my life. In September of 2011 my bank account is seized and all monies( approximately $35,000 with no contact or advisement made before hand ) are taken by the State of Illinois, claiming I owed arrearage for child support for the time I was in prison.
I made attempts to recover this money by my self and through various free legal aid sources to no avail I was told repeatedly by the state of Illinois that I would need to appear in court person in Illinois to resolve the issue. This was not an option for me as I was sentenced to a five year parole. since then the state of Illinois has garnished my wages in the amount of 50% forcing me to live on the street in poverty without funds to hire private legal help. I have now paid near $50.000 and still am getting my credit damaged by the reports the state of Illinois is making.
My questions are can I recover my money. can I stop or limit the garnishment so I can move off the street. can I seek damages for being forced into homelessness for the past 5 years with no relief in sight?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.
You can recover some of the money, but you have to appear in Court or request for a telephonic hearing. Most states now offer telephonic hearings for out-of-state litigants. You would need to contact the Circuit Court Clerk's office in the County where your case is pending for the procedure for requesting telephonic hearing. As for garnishment, you would need to file Motion to Modify Child Support and ask either for reduction of the support or for suspension of the support to offset the amount that was wrongfully seized from your bank account for arrears that accumulated while you were incarcerated. You can request for a telephonic hearing because of your parole. As for seeking damages for your homelessness, it is highly unlikely that you would prevail in the lawsuit. Kindly give a positive rating to my response so that I can receive credit for responding to your post. There is no additional cost to you for doing this. Thank you for your cooperation.