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305 ILCS 5/10-3.1
(305 ILCS 5/10-3.1)
(from Ch. 23, par. 10-3.1)
Child and Spouse Support Unit.
Department shall establish within its administrative staff a Child and
Spouse Support Unit to search for and locate absent parents and spouses
liable for the support of persons resident in this State and to exercise
the support enforcement powers and responsibilities assigned the
Department by this Article. The unit shall cooperate with all law
enforcement officials in this State and with the authorities of other
States in locating persons responsible for the support of persons
resident in other States and shall invite the cooperation of these
authorities in the performance of its duties.
In addition to other duties assigned the Child and Spouse Support Unit
by this Article, the Unit may refer to the Attorney General or units of
local government with the approval of the Attorney General, any actions
under Sections 10-10 and 10-15 for judicial enforcement of the support
liability. The Child and Spouse Support Unit shall act for the Department
in referring to the Attorney General support matters requiring judicial
enforcement under other laws. If requested by the Attorney General to so
act, as provided in Section 12-16, attorneys of the Unit may assist the
Attorney General or themselves
institute actions on behalf of the Illinois Department
under the Revised Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support
Act; under the Illinois Parentage Act of
1984 or under the Illinois Parentage Act of 2015; under
the Non-Support of Spouse and Children Act; under the Non-Support Punishment
or under any other law, State or
Federal, providing for support
of a spouse or dependent child.
The Illinois Department shall also have the authority to enter into
agreements with local governmental units or individuals, with the approval
of the Attorney General, for the collection of moneys owing
because of the failure of a
parent to make child support payments for any child receiving services
under this Article. Such agreements may be on a contingent
fee basis, but such contingent fee shall not exceed 25% of the total amount
An attorney who provides representation pursuant to this Section shall
Illinois Department exclusively. Regardless of
the designation of the plaintiff in an action brought pursuant to this Section,
an attorney-client relationship does not exist for purposes of that
action between that attorney
and (i) an applicant for or recipient of child support
enforcement services or
(ii) any other party to the action other than the Illinois Department. Nothing
in this Section shall be construed to modify any power or duty (including a
duty to maintain confidentiality) of the Child and Spouse Support Unit or the
Illinois Department otherwise provided by law.
The Illinois Department may also enter into agreements with local
governmental units for the Child and Spouse Support Unit to exercise the
investigative and enforcement powers designated in this Article,
including the issuance of administrative orders under Section 10-11, in
locating responsible relatives and obtaining support for persons
applying for or receiving aid under Article VI.
defrayment of administrative costs and support payments obtained shall
be deposited into the DHS Recoveries Trust Fund. Support
payments shall be paid over to the General Assistance Fund of the local
governmental unit at such time or times as the agreement may specify.
With respect to those cases in which it has support enforcement powers
and responsibilities under this Article, the Illinois Department may provide
by rule for periodic or other review of each administrative and court order
for support to determine whether a modification of the order should be
sought. The Illinois Department shall provide for and conduct such review
in accordance with any applicable federal law and regulation.
As part of its process for review of orders for support, the Illinois
Department, through written notice, may require the responsible relative to
disclose his or her Social Security Number and past and present information
concerning the relative's address, employment, gross wages, deductions from
gross wages, net wages, bonuses, commissions, number of dependent exemptions
claimed, individual and dependent health insurance coverage, and any other
information necessary to determine the relative's ability to provide support in
a case receiving child support enforcement services under
this Article X.
The Illinois Department may send a written request
for the same information to the relative's employer. The employer shall
respond to the request for information within 15 days after the date the
employer receives the request. If the employer willfully fails to fully
respond within the 15-day period, the employer shall pay a penalty of $100 for
each day that the response is not provided to the Illinois Department after the
15-day period has expired. The penalty may be collected in a civil action
which may be brought against the employer in favor of the Illinois Department.
A written request for information sent to an employer pursuant to this
Section shall consist of (i) a citation of this Section as the statutory
authority for the request and for the employer's obligation to provide the
requested information, (ii) a returnable form setting forth the employer's name
and address and listing the name of the employee with respect to whom
information is requested, and (iii) a citation of this Section as the statutory
authority authorizing the employer to withhold a fee of up to $20 from the
wages or income to be paid to each responsible relative for providing the
information to the Illinois Department within the 15-day period. If the
withholding support payments from the responsible relative's income pursuant to
an order for withholding, the employer may withhold the fee provided for in
this Section only after withholding support as required under the order. Any
amounts withheld from the responsible relative's income for payment of support
and the fee provided for in this Section shall not be in excess of the amounts
permitted under the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act.
In a case receiving child support enforcement services,
Department may request and obtain information from a particular employer under
this Section no more than once in any 12-month period, unless the information
is necessary to conduct a review of a court or
administrative order for support at the request of the person receiving child support enforcement services.
The Illinois Department shall establish and maintain an administrative unit
to receive and transmit to the Child and Spouse Support Unit information
supplied by persons applying for or receiving child support
under Section 10-1. In addition, the Illinois Department shall address and
respond to any alleged deficiencies that persons receiving or applying for
services from the Child and Spouse Support Unit may identify concerning the
Child and Spouse Support Unit's provision of child support
Within 60 days after an action or failure to act by the Child and Spouse
Support Unit that affects his or her case, a recipient of or applicant for
child support enforcement services under Article X of this
Code may request an
explanation of the Unit's handling of the case. At the requestor's option, the
explanation may be provided either orally in an interview, in writing, or both.
If the Illinois Department fails to respond to the request for an explanation
or fails to respond in a manner satisfactory to the applicant or recipient
within 30 days from the date of the request for an explanation, the
applicant or recipient may request a conference for further review of the
matter by the Office of the Administrator of the Child and Spouse Support Unit.
A request for a conference may be submitted at any time within 60 days after
the explanation has been provided by the Child and Spouse Support Unit or
within 60 days after the time for providing the explanation has expired.
The applicant or recipient may request a conference concerning any decision
denying or terminating child support enforcement services
under Article X of this Code, and the applicant or recipient may also request a
conference concerning the
Unit's failure to provide services or the provision of services in an amount or
manner that is considered inadequate. For purposes of this Section, the Child
and Spouse Support Unit includes all local governmental units or individuals
with whom the Illinois Department has contracted
Upon receipt of a timely request for a conference, the Office of the
Administrator shall review the case. The applicant or recipient requesting
the conference shall be entitled, at his or her option, to appear in person or
to participate in the conference by telephone. The applicant or recipient
requesting the conference shall be entitled to be represented and to be
afforded a reasonable opportunity to review the Illinois Department's file
before or at the conference. At the conference, the applicant or recipient
requesting the conference shall be afforded an opportunity to present all
relevant matters in support of his or her claim. Conferences shall be without
cost to the applicant or recipient requesting the conference and shall be
conducted by a representative of the Child or Spouse Support Unit who did not
participate in the action or inaction being reviewed.
The Office of the Administrator shall conduct a conference and inform all
interested parties, in
writing, of the results of the conference within 60 days from the date of
filing of the request for a conference.
In addition to its other powers and responsibilities established by this
Article, the Child and Spouse Support Unit shall conduct an annual assessment
of each institution's program for institution based paternity establishment
under Section 12 of the Vital Records Act.
(Source: P.A. 99-85, eff. 1-1-16