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Department of Family Services (HFS)

Please note that the legal information presented on this page is written for those living in the state of Illinois.

What Does it Mean?

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) is an administrative agency with two main functions:

  1. Providing Medicaid coverage to those who qualify; and
  2. Child support enforcement services through their IV-D program

Things You Should Know

The IV-D program handles all administrative child support orders. This means that for all child support cases handled by HFS, one parent (typically the custodial parent) is enrolled in the IV-D program.

If an unmarried parent is enrolled in the IV-D program, HFS has the right to locate the child's other parent and begin a paternity (parentage) case. This means they can decide whether a person is a child's legal parent or not.

HFS will handle all legal paperwork on behalf of parents enrolled in the IV-D program for free. They are only able to help parents with paternity and child support cases. In some cases, HFS may appoint a state's attorney to handle paperwork for judicial child support orders. However, state's attorneys do not officially represent parents in court.

You can visit HFS's website to learn more here.

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