What Age Does Child Support End in Illinois?

woman holding baby

Just because you do not have custody of your child, that does not mean that you do not have an obligation to them. This is why the noncustodial parent often has to pay child support until their child reaches adulthood. However, while this arrangement is typical, there are other factors that can determine when the duty to pay child support actually ends. A Tazewell County child support attorney can help you navigate these laws and determine if your agreement is fair. Here are some of the questions you may have about when child support ends in Illinois:

What Factors Can Affect How Long I Pay Child Support in Illinois?

Generally, the need to pay child support ends when the law begins to recognize your child as an adult. In the state of Illinois that is usually at the age of 18, but there are some circumstances in which you may end up paying child support for a longer period of time. Your child support arrangement could extend past an 18th birthday if:

  • Your child is still in high school at 18
  • You have an agreement to pay support while the child is in college
  • You have an adult child with a mental or physical disability

In the first case, you have to pay child support until the child graduates or turns 19, whichever occurs first. Once the child has reached either of those milestones, the need for child support generally ends unless other agreements, like an arrangement to pay college expenses, were reached.

In the second case, the custodial parent often has to show that the child is enrolled as a full-time student. They also have to be in good standing and often have to take on some financial responsibility of their own, like applying for aid or working part-time to help with expenses. The income of each parental household, including any income from new spouses, can be factored in when a parent is petitioned for college expense support.

When you have a child with disabilities, a judge may order support from one or both parents even after the child has turned 18. This support can come from either or both parents’ income, estate, or other assets.

Sometimes your need to pay child support can end earlier in Illinois. If a child is emancipated, you no longer have a financial obligation towards them in the eyes of the law. A child has to be at least 14 years old and they have to show that they can be financially independent. If they can do this, you are no longer required to pay child support.

Renegotiating Your Support Arrangements

There are other situations in which you may want to renegotiate your child support payments. The needs of your child and your financial situation can change quickly, and finding a more appropriate child support arrangement can be to both of your benefits.

If you have more questions about child support in Illinois, contact Butler, Giraudo & Meister, P.C. We can tell you more about your legal options and your long-term obligations.

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