When Does Child Support End in Illinois?

If you’re in the middle of a divorce or separation, and children are involved, the question, “When does child support end?” may have come up. An Order for Support specifies an end date, which is usually the child’s 18th birthday, but not always.

There are situations where child support payments extend beyond the child’s coming of age. Non-minor child support is often extended and awarded if the child is:

  • – Still in high school
  • – Physically or mentally disabled
  • – Attending college

Illinois Child Support Beyond the Age of 18

The extent of non-minor child support in Illinois depends significantly on the situation:

  • – Child is Attending High School: If a child turns 18 while still in high school, Illinois allows child support to be extended until the child graduates or turns 19. Of course, the child is no longer a minor after they turn 18, but it is likely that the child still requires the parental support they needed at age 17. Be sure to double-check the Order for Support, and don’t assume this automatically applies to your case.
  • – Child is Disabled: The court can be petitioned for non-minor child support if the child is physically or mentally disabled. Child support payments can be paid indefinitely for disabled children who are not emancipated.
  • – Child is Attending College: Educational expenses can cause child support to be extended into adulthood. Both parents — as well as the child — can be ordered by a judge to split the costs of college or some other form of professional training. These shared expenses can include books, supplies, tuition, room and board, health insurance and more. There are limits, however. Child support payments typically aren’t extended past the point of a bachelor’s degree.

Non-Minor Child Support: What You Need to Know

Non-minor child support isn’t a legal requirement. For example, non-minor child support isn’t automatically required because the topic of college came up when child support was discussed during the divorce proceedings. To make the process simpler, you can go to court before the child reaches the age of 18 and come to an agreement with the other parent on how educational expenses will be paid. If no agreement can be reached, a judge will make a decision for the parties involved.

How do judges decide who pays and how much? Unless one parent is struggling financially and unable to make shared payments, divorcing or separating couples will receive an order for shared expenses that details how much the recipient is responsible for paying and for how long. Judges consider many factors when it comes to minor and non-minor child support, including:

  • -Both parents’ finances
  • -The quality of life the child would’ve had if the parents weren’t divorced or separated
  • -The child’s financial resources
  • -The child’s performance in school 

Reach Out with Your Child Support Questions

While there is a common answer to the question of when child support ends, the specifics of child support will vary from one family law case to another. At Conniff Law Offices, you’ll find experienced and compassionate family law lawyers in Chicago and Oak Park who are ready to represent your best interests. Contact us with any questions or to schedule a consultation today.

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