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Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court

SDU Frequently Asked Questions

 

General Questions

What is the State Disbursement Unit (SDU) and why was it created?
Federal law requires that each State provide employers with one centralized location for the processing of employer income withholding for child support orders. To conform to this law, Illinois created the SDU. The SDU is located at P.O. Box 5400, Carol Stream, Illinois 60197-5400. The SDU is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except legal holidays. The SDU telephone number is (877) 225-7077.

 When did this law become operational?

The SDU became operational on October 1, 1999.

 Why were the changes made?

The Clinton Administration required these changes to make the collection and distribution of support payments more convenient for employers.

How are employers affected by the change to SDU?

As of October 1, 1999, all employers are required to send their income withholding payments to the SDU for processing.* For more information, go to SDU Frequently Asked Questions for Employer.

How are parents and children affected by the change to SDU?

For many parents and children receiving child support, the checks will come from a new place. Please go to SDU Frequently Asked Questions for Parents Who Receive Child Support for more details.

The change should not affect parents paying child support. They will continue to pay as they have paid in the past. Answers to other common questions can be found in SDU Frequently Asked Questions for Parents Who Pay Child Support.  Where do I send child support payments?

  • If you are an employer.
      • deducting child support from an employee's income
      • based on a notice of income withholding
      • make your payments to the SDU.*
  • If you are a paying parent.
      • with a child support order
      • but no employer withholding at your job
      • and you previously sent payments to the Clerk's Office
      • you should continue to make your payments to the Clerk's office.
  • If you are a paying parent.
      • with a child support order
      • but no employer withholding at your job
      • and you previously sent payments to the custodial parent.
      • you should continue to make your payments to the custodial parent.

 Who should I contact if I have questions about child support?

Obviously, we cannot answer or anticipate every question here. If you need further assistance or have questions, please contact our Child Support Division. Contact information for the Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court is listed below.

Contact Information

For answers to most child support related questions, you should continue to call the Clerk of the Circuit Court. In Cook County, you can contact our office in the following ways:

  • Telephone

312-345-4015

  • E-mail

djreed@cookcountycourt.com

  • Fax

312-345-4001

  • Mailing address

Clerk of the Circuit Court
Child Support Division
28 North Clark Street, Rm 200
Chicago, Illinois 60602

We will be able to resolve your case faster if you have certain information. Before you contact us, it will be especially helpful if you have the following information: case number (or docket) or IDPA case number; the date of the support order; the name of the person paying support; that person's employer; and the county where the support order was entered.

 

What is a "notice of income withholding " for child support?

These inform employers of the entry of orders requiring a specific amount of child support to be paid by an employer withholding income from an employee's paycheck. When employers receive a notice of income withholding, they should begin to withhold according to the order. All payments* should be sent to the State Disbursement Unit. The SDU is located at P.O. Box 5400, Carol Stream, Illinois 60197-5400.

What is a "IV-D" case?

A child support case is considered a IV-D case if (1) the family receives public assistance, or (2) does not receive public assistance but has applied for and receives child support enforcement services which include locating parents, establishing paternity, establishing child support orders, collecting and distributing child support, and modifying and enforcing child support orders. Other cases are categorized as Non-IV-D. The term "IV-D" comes from Title IV, Part D, of the federal Social Security Act, which established the Child Support Enforcement Program in 1975.

This distinction is important to employers because they are required to furnish different information depending on the case type. Typically, a IV-D case has a court case (docket) number and an administrative number; a non-IV-D case will usually only have a case number. When submitting a withholding payment arising from a IV-D case, the employer should furnish both the case (docket) number and the administrative number.

How does a custodial parent get into the IV-D program?

The IV-D program is a federal, state, and local effort to help parents and their children collect child support. Through this program, absent parents can be located, paternity can be established, and support orders can be enforced to ensure the payment of child support. You can join the IV-D program by calling the Illinois Department of Public Aid at 1-800-447-4278. You can also get information on signing up for the IV-D program by calling the Clerk's Office in Cook County. Contact Information for the Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court is listed above.

How does a child support order get changed or ended?

A child support order entered by the courts or by an administrative body can be ended (terminated) by law or by the actions of the parties to the case. In most cases, when a child who is receiving child support under a support order turns 18 years old, the support order terminates on its own. No one has to go back to court. If there are other reasons besides the child turning 18, such as death, re-marriage, or an agreement to end support, you must go back into court and ask the judge to enter an order terminating the support order. If there is an administrative support order and you would like it terminated, you must go back before the same administrative body and ask for a termination order. To change or modify a support order, you must go to court or to the administrative body and show evidence why the order should be changed.

 * While the Federal law applies only to employer withheld child support orders entered after January 1, 1994, for practical purposes the SDU will accept payments from orders before that date. It must accept all employer withheld child support payments entered after January 1, 1994.


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