In Illinois, both parents have a legal obligation to provide financial support for their child. All child-related legal matters are made in the child’s best interests. State law provides a calculator that accounts for many factors, such as parents’ income, when determining child support. Once a judge has issued a final child support order, permanent child support payments will begin. You may be wondering how long these child supports payments will continue. Generally, child support payments are required until the child turns 18. There are important exceptions to this rule, however, which may apply to your situation.
Who Pays Child Support?
Usually, the non-custodial parent pays child support to the custodial parent. The custodial parent is with whom the child primarily lives. The exact amount of these payments varies case by case, based on a number of factors. In some cases, the child support payments will need to change as major life circumstances change (the child develops extraordinary medical needs; a parent loses a job; etc.).
Exceptions to the Rule
Illinois law requires that child support payments continue until the child turns 18, unless they are still in high school. If the child is in high school after they turn 18, support payments continue until either the child turns 19 or the child graduates from high school (whichever happens first). Turning 18 is generally the support cut off date because that is when a child is legally considered an adult. However, if a child becomes emancipated before 18, support payments may no longer be required. Some common examples of emancipation include:
There are other situations in which a child may be considered emancipated, and thus no longer need the parents’ support. Whenever your support obligation has ended, you will need to go back to court to request a modified order. This is especially important if you are paying support for more than one child, as your other support obligations may change.
Our Child Support Lawyers Can Help
The skilled DuPage County family law attorneys at our office understand that child support issues can be quite complex, both emotionally and legally. Our experienced lawyers understand the challenges you may face during such a case. We have assisted countless DuPage County parents through child support and other family law cases. If you are facing a support dispute, contact our firm today. Contact us to schedule a free consultation; same-day appointments are available.
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