After a divorce that involves minor children, one parent is typically ordered to pay child support, as well as other expenses related to their education, healthcare, and other costs. Child support is expected to help the other parent to pay for the child’s daily expenses. If you believe you are no longer responsible for paying support, it is important to speak to a child support lawyer in Chicago that can help you petition to terminate child support.
Terminating Support Upon the Age of 18
It is a common misconception that child support is automatically terminated after a child turns 18 years old. While children are no longer minors once they turn 18, parents can still be obligated to pay child support for an 18 year old. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/501) requires support to be paid for a child under 18 years of age, or children that are 18 years old and still enrolled in high school. This means that if your child is still in high school and is 18 years old, your child support obligation will continue.
Under the law, child support orders must also indicate a date on which the parental obligation to provide support ends. If it is expected the child will still be in high school after they turn 18, the order should reflect this fact. If your child had not graduated from high school when they turned 18 but because he or she stopped attending, you can petition to terminate child support in Illinois.
Support of a Non-Minor Child
There are instances in which parents are required to continue contributing to a child’s education after their child graduates from high school. 750 ILCS 5/513 outlines support obligations when a child is attending post-secondary education. Likewise, 750 ILCS 5/513.5 obligates parents to contribute to a child’s expenses for certain children with disabilities.
Petitioning to Terminate Child Support in Illinois
It is important, even if you believe that you can legally terminate your support obligations, that you speak to a child support lawyer in Chicago before stopping payments. A lawyer can advise on your rights and help you petition to terminate the child support payments. If you do not follow the proper process, you could face penalties such as being placed in contempt of court for failure to pay or being required to pay the other parent’s attorneys’ fees.
Our Chicago Child Support Lawyer Can Advise on Your Case
If you have questions about your obligation to pay support, I am Michael C. Craven, the child support lawyer in Chicago that can advise on your case. I know the law and I will advise on how it applies to your case, and ensure you comply with it so you do not face penalties. Call me today at (312) 621-5234 or fill out the online form to schedule a consultation and to obtain the sound legal advice you need.