Past-Due Child Support (Arrears)

If you have been ordered to pay child support, and you fail to make a child support payment on time, the amount that was owed will become past-due child support (arrears). 

Unless the past-due child support is paid off, the next child support order you receive will show that you owe both the current child support payments plus the amount that is past-due.

In Illinois, past-due child support grows at an interest rate of 9% each year. The same is true for past-due maintenance (alimony) and past-due cash medical support.


  • Failure to pay past-due child support can result in enforcement penalties

  • It is often very difficult to modify past-due child support. Depending on your situation, there may be certain options you can pursue, including:

  • Project Clean Slate

  • a payment plan with HFS, requiring the parent to pay a certain amount of child support over a certain period to remove the debt owed 

  • both you and the other parent can sign an agreed zero order for past-due child support, which would remove all child support debt owed