How Long Do I Have to Pay Child Support?

On Behalf of | May 17, 2018 | Child Support

Child support is a very important thing for custodial parents, and of course, the children for whom the support is directed. For parents who have to pay child support, however, child support can often be a financial burden, creating anxiety about making sure an individual is able to pay all of his or her bills and support himself or herself. Even when child support payments are not difficult, financially speaking, for an individual to make, those making payments may still be eager to know for how long payments will last. Here’s what you need to know about the duration of child support in Illinois:

Child Support Lasts Until the Child Reaches the Legal Age of Emancipation

In Illinois, child support will usually last until the child reaches the legal age of emancipation, which is 18 years old in the state. However, if for some reason a child becomes an emancipated minor before the age of 18, child support payments would not need to continue. A child can become emancipated if they marry before the age of 18, or if they join the military.

Situations Where Support May Continue Past a Child’s 18th Birthday

There are also some situations in which a support obligation may continue past a child’s 18th birthday. For example, according to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Illinois law allows for an extension of child support until the date that the child graduates from high school or turns 19, whichever comes first.

Illinois statute also allows for an application to be made for support to continue past the age of emancipation (18) when the child is mentally or physically disabled. This is found in 750 ILCS 5/513.5.

Another situation in which parents may be asked by a court to make support payments is in the event that the child is going to college or seeking vocational training. To be sure, 750 ILCS 5/513 addresses “educational expenses for a non-minor child,” and holds that the court may award sums of money from either parent for the educational expenses of any child of the parties.

What to Do If You Have Questions About Child Support

If you are currently paying child support, you may have been counting on the fact that upon your child’s 18th birthday, your support obligation will end. However, your duty to pay support may continue until your child completes his or her high school education, or perhaps even his or her college education in some cases.

If you have questions about when your child support obligation will end or how to modify a support order, please call our experienced child support attorneys at the law offices of Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. today. We can answer all of your questions and provide you with the representation you need. We serve clients throughout Illinois, including the areas of Lombard, Lisle, Aurora, Wheaton, Downers Grove, and Naperville. Reach us by phone or online today.