When Does Child Support End In Illinois?

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November 6, 2023 by Marjorie R. Rogers, MA (English), Certified Consultant

Child support in Illinois typically ends when the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later.

Child Support Laws In Illinois

When it comes to child support in Illinois, understanding the laws and how they work is crucial to ensuring the well-being of both the child and the parents involved. Child support is a legal obligation that a non-custodial parent must fulfill for the financial support and maintenance of their child. In Illinois, the child support laws are designed to be fair and equitable, taking into account various factors to determine the appropriate amount to be paid. In this article, we will delve into how child support works in Illinois, the calculations used, and the factors that are considered in the process.

How Does Child Support Work In Illinois?

Child support in Illinois operates under specific guidelines outlined by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. The law aims to ensure that children receive adequate financial support from both parents, taking into consideration the best interests of the child. The allocation of child support is based on the income shares model, which calculates each parent’s responsibility proportionate to their income.

Calculation Of Child Support Payments In Illinois

In Illinois, child support payments are determined using a formula that considers the net income of both parents and the number of children involved. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services has developed presumptive guidelines to guide the calculation process. These guidelines take into account the basic support obligation, additional expenses such as healthcare and child care, and the amount of parenting time allocated to each parent. It is important to note that the courts may deviate from these guidelines if they determine that applying them would be inappropriate or unjust.

The following table provides an overview of the basic child support obligation percentages based on net income:

Number of Children Percent of Net Income
1 20%
2 28%
3 32%
4 40%

Factors Considered In Determining Child Support In Illinois

When determining child support in Illinois, the courts assess various factors in addition to the income of both parents. Some of the key factors considered include:

  • The financial resources and needs of the child and both parents
  • The standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the parents not separated
  • The child’s physical, emotional, and educational needs
  • The financial resources and debts of both parents
  • The child’s age and any special needs they may have
  • Each parent’s ability to support the child while maintaining their own financial stability
  • The child’s educational and healthcare expenses

By taking into account these factors, the courts aim to ensure that child support payments are fair and appropriate based on the unique circumstances of each case.

Understanding the child support laws and guidelines in Illinois is essential for both custodial and non-custodial parents. By having a clear understanding of how child support works, the calculation process, and the factors that are considered, parents can better navigate the legal aspects of child support and ensure the well-being of their child.

When Does Child Support End In Illinois?

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When Does Child Support End In Illinois

Child support is a crucial aspect of divorce or separation cases involving children in Illinois. It ensures the financial well-being of the child and helps cover various expenses, including education, medical care, and daily living costs. However, child support obligations are not lifelong, and they typically come to an end when certain conditions are met. Understanding when child support ends in Illinois can provide clarity and help parents plan for the future.

Age At Which Child Support Typically Ends In Illinois

In Illinois, child support obligations typically end when the child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school, whichever comes later. This means that parents are generally responsible for providing financial support until the child turns 18 or completes their high school education. It is important to note that child support may also continue beyond these milestones in specific circumstances.

Exceptions To The Age Limit For Child Support Termination In Illinois

While child support usually ends at the age of 18 or high school graduation, there are exceptions to this age limit in Illinois. Certain circumstances may warrant the continuation of child support obligations beyond these milestones. These exceptions include:

  • Child’s disabilities or special needs
  • Pursuing higher education
  • Understanding the criteria for educational support in Illinois
  • Factors considered for educational support continuation
  • Other exceptional circumstances that may extend child support obligations

Child’s Disabilities Or Special Needs

If the child has disabilities or special needs that require ongoing financial support, child support may continue beyond the age of 18 or high school graduation. The court considers the child’s unique circumstances and the necessary care or treatment required for their well-being. Parents may be required to contribute to the child’s support for an extended period to meet these special needs.

Pursuing Higher Education

When a child decides to pursue higher education, such as attending college or university, child support may continue. However, this is subject to certain criteria and conditions set by Illinois law.

The Criteria For Educational Support In Illinois

To qualify for educational support, the child must show that they are making satisfactory academic progress and diligently working towards obtaining a degree or some other recognized form of educational certification. Additionally, the chosen educational program should be reasonably related to the child’s abilities, aptitude, and educational goals.

Factors Considered For Educational Support Continuation

The court takes several factors into account when determining whether to continue child support for educational purposes. These factors include the financial resources of both parents, the child’s academic performance, the availability of financial aid, and the feasibility of the educational program. The court aims to ensure that both parents contribute to the child’s educational expenses equitably.

Other Exceptional Circumstances That May Extend Child Support Obligations

Apart from disabilities, special needs, and pursuing higher education, there may be other exceptional circumstances where child support obligations can be extended in Illinois. These situations vary case by case, and the court assesses them based on the child’s best interests and financial requirements. Consulting with an experienced family law attorney can provide guidance and help determine if your case qualifies for an extension of child support.

Modifying Or Terminating Child Support In Illinois

Child support in Illinois can be modified or terminated based on various circumstances. The end of child support depends on factors such as the child turning 18 years old , or graduating from high school before the age of 19.

Terminating child support requires legal proceedings and court approval.

Child support in Illinois is a crucial financial responsibility that parents have towards their children’s well-being. However, there may be circumstances where the original child support order needs modification or termination. These circumstances can include changes in parental income or financial circumstances, changes in the child’s needs or expenses, or when both parents mutually agree to modify or terminate the child support. In this section, we will explore each of these circumstances and the process of modifying or terminating child support in Illinois.

Circumstances Under Which Child Support Can Be Modified Or Terminated In Illinois

Change in parental income or financial circumstances

When either parent experiences a significant change in their income or financial circumstances, it may warrant a modification or termination of the child support order. This can include situations such as job loss, job change, promotion, demotion, disability, or any other substantial change in income. It is important to note that minor fluctuations in income may not be sufficient grounds for modification unless they result in a significant impact on the child support obligations.

Changes in the child’s needs or expenses

The child’s needs and expenses can also play a role in modifying or terminating child support in Illinois. If there are substantial changes in the child’s healthcare, education, or extracurricular expenses, it may justify a review of the existing child support order. Additionally, if the child’s living situation changes, such as relocating to a different state, it may necessitate a modification or termination of child support.

Parental agreements for modification or termination

In some cases, both parents may come to a mutual agreement to modify or terminate the child support order. This agreement must be in writing and should clearly outline the proposed changes, including the reasons for modification or termination. It is important to ensure that the agreed-upon changes are fair and in the best interest of the child.

Process For Modifying Or Terminating Child Support In Illinois

Filing a petition with the court

To modify or terminate child support in Illinois, the requesting parent must file a petition with the court that issued the original child support order. This petition should clearly state the reasons for modification or termination and provide supporting documentation as evidence.

Documentation and evidence required for modification or termination

When filing a petition, it is crucial to include all relevant documentation and evidence to support the requested modification or termination. This may include income statements, tax returns, medical bills, education expenses, or any other financial records that demonstrate a change in circumstances.

Court’s evaluation and decision-making process

Once the petition is filed, the court will evaluate the evidence, consider the child’s best interests, and make a decision regarding modification or termination of child support. The court’s decision will depend on various factors, including the child’s needs, parental income, and financial circumstances. It is important to present a compelling case and provide all necessary documentation to ensure a fair evaluation by the court.

Modifying or terminating child support in Illinois is possible under specific circumstances such as changes in parental income or financial circumstances, changes in the child’s needs or expenses, or parental agreements for modification or termination. The process involves filing a petition with the court, providing relevant documentation and evidence, and the court’s evaluation and decision-making process. It is advisable to seek legal guidance to navigate through this process and ensure the best outcome for the child and both parents.

Frequently Asked Questions For When Does Child Support End In Illinois?

When Does Child Support End In Illinois?

Child support in Illinois typically ends when the child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later.

Can Child Support Be Extended Past Age 18 In Illinois?

In certain circumstances, child support in Illinois can be extended past the age of 18. If the child has a mental or physical disability, support can continue indefinitely.

What Factors Can Influence The Termination Of Child Support In Illinois?

There are various factors that can influence the termination of child support in Illinois, including the child turning 18, graduating from high school, or becoming emancipated.

Can A Parent Stop Paying Child Support If The Child Refuses To See Them?

No, a parent cannot stop paying child support simply because the child refuses to see them. Child support is a legal obligation based on the needs of the child.

Is It Possible To Modify Child Support In Illinois?

Yes, child support can be modified in Illinois if there is a significant change in circumstances, such as a change in income or the needs of the child.

What Happens If Child Support Is Not Paid In Illinois?

Failure to pay child support in Illinois can result in various consequences, including wage garnishment, suspension of driver’s license, and even jail time.


It’s important to understand the laws surrounding child support in Illinois, as they dictate when the obligation ends for parents. By familiarizing yourself with the guidelines, you can ensure the financial stability of your children as they continue to grow.

Remember that reaching out to a legal professional can provide you with personalized advice and guidance tailored to your specific situation. Safeguarding the well-being of your children is a shared responsibility that requires ongoing attention and understanding.

About Author (Marjorie R. Rogers)

The inspiring mum of 6 who dedicates her time to supporting others. While battling with her own demons she continues to be the voice for others unable to speak out. Mental illness almost destroyed her, yet here she is fighting back and teaching you all the things she has learned along the way. Get Started To Read …