When a family goes through a divorce or separation, and a child is involved, they’ll often implement some form of child support. The amount varies with the number of children and extenuating circumstances, but the rules are typically straightforward.
Some families are still unsure about the state guidelines and don’t know how long child support payments typically last. If you continue reading, you can learn when support payments end and what special circumstances can change that deadline.
In most states, child support payments will end when a child reaches the age of majority. In Illinois, that is 18, but some other factors play a role. In Illinois, if the child is still in high school when they turn 18, the child support will end after they graduate and turn 19. However, it’s important to note this only applies if you’re receiving support for one child. If you have other younger children, the child support payments will continue. With that said, the paying parent can file a motion to modify child support to pay less with the other child having passed the age of majority.
There are also special considerations for children getting a high school diploma equivalent, like a GED. Many child support court orders have an automatic end date around the time they hit this milestone. Sometimes this isn’t the case, and the paying parent will need to request termination since the child has become an adult.
In Illinois, there are also options for children who attend college. The parent can make an arrangement with the court to maintain child support through the child’s completion of their undergraduate degree. In these cases, the money helps cover college tuition, housing, fees, books, and other expenses.
The two parents can agree on an amount, or the court can order a parent to pay “non-minor child support” based on parental income and other financial factors. Other financial factors that could impact the amount could be other children, debt, and other financial obligations like taking care of a parent.
Other factors can change the end date for child support. For example, if your child has a disability or other medical concerns, the parent can file for non-minor child support from the court. Similarly, a child can emancipate themself, at which point the paying parent no longer has an obligation to provide child support. Children typically become emancipated when they turn 18 or graduate high school, but they can also file for emancipation, get married, or join the military. In all these instances, the parent isn’t required to provide child support any longer.
Child support payments typically last until the child is 18, but special circumstances can alter that deadline. If you’re unsure about your situation and when your child support may run out, consider contacting one of our family child support lawyers at Schiller DuCanto & Fleck. We’re the best in the business and can answer any questions and help you and your children get the fair treatment you deserve.