Child Support after a Child Reaches Majority
Ordinarily, an obligation to pay child support ends when a child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later. However, under certain circumstances, a support obligation may continue beyond age 18 and graduation from high school.
Child Support in Illinois
Under Illinois law, a child support order must state a date when the support obligation ends, which cannot be earlier than the date on which the child will turn age 18. However, if a child turns 18 while still in high school, the support obligation must continue until the child graduates from high school or until he or she turns age 19.
However, in Illinois, a judge may award support for a child who has attained majority under the following circumstances:
- When a child is disabled and not otherwise emancipated; or
- To provide for the educational expenses of a child or children.
The educational expenses to which a parent may be ordered to provide support include college or professional education once a child graduates from high school, or even during high school if a child is already 19 years old. Expenses may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Transportation; and
- Registration and application costs.
Of course, this is not a complete list of the costs for which a child may receive support.
These payments may be made to a child, his or her parents, or to the school directly. If these payments are ordered, the parents and child will enter into consent agreements in order to allow the academic institution to provide the supporting parents access to the child's academic records.
The court may consider the following factors when making the decision to order support after a child reaches the age of majority:
- The parents' finances;
- The standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage not ended;
- The finances of the child; and
- The child's performance in school.
Knowledgeable in Family Law
A support obligation may continue into a child's adult life in order to provide needed financial resources, either because of the child's disability or to allow the child to obtain education or professional training to ensure a successful employment career. If you have any questions related to child support obligations, please contact an experienced and dedicated Illinois family law attorney. The attorneys at MKFM Law have the knowledge and skill to handle all of your child support issues.