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Illinois: When does child support end?

Started by heather2662, Jan 09, 2005, 10:26:32 AM

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State: Illinois
County: Clark

My oldest is going to turn 18 on Jan. 30th 2005. She will graduate high school at the end of the school year.

Since the time of the divorce (OCT. 2003) I have been paying child support directly to the BM by personal check. Each check is noted "Child Support week ending xx/xx/xxxx" I scan a copy of the pay stub with the support check and keep record of it on my computer. I print a copy of the check and stub together and enclose it with the support check sent to BM.

My divorce papers are very "general" and state that 32% is to be taken from my pay for support. It does NOT state anywhere when child support ends.


1. When does child support end in Illinois?
2. Is there an 18 or end of high school rule?

Thank you,


I have an SD that will be graduating in 05 as well.

Generally, from what I've been able to gather, Illinois uses the original divorce decree in determining the end date for support.  The Illinois statues state that child support ends at age 18, however there are provisions for continuation of support past the age of 18 for educational purposes.  (See below.)  I sincerely hope that it states somewhere in your original decree when child support ends, otherwise you could be in for some trouble. :(

It's funny, isn't it, that there are SO many resources to help someone COLLECT support, but it's like pulling teeth to find someone who will tell you when you can stop paying.  We will have paid nearly $100,000 before we're done.

Here's a link that might be helpful to you:

Here's some information from the Illinois Statutes:
(750 ILCS 5/513) (from Ch. 40, par. 513)
    Sec. 513. Support for Non‑minor Children and Educational Expenses.
    (a) The court may award sums of money out of the property and income of either or both parties or the estate of a deceased parent, as equity may require, for the support of the child or children of the parties who have attained majority in the following instances:
        (1) When the child is mentally or physically  
     disabled and not otherwise emancipated, an application for support may be made before or after the child has attained majority.
        (2) The court may also make provision for the  
     educational expenses of the child or children of the parties, whether of minor or majority age, and an application for educational expenses may be made before or after the child has attained majority, or after the death of either parent. The authority under this Section to make provision for educational expenses extends not only to periods of college education or professional or other training after graduation from high school, but also to any period during which the child of the parties is still attending high school, even though he or she attained the age of 19. The educational expenses may include, but shall not be limited to, room, board, dues, tuition, transportation, books, fees, registration and application costs, medical expenses including medical insurance, dental expenses, and living expenses during the school year and periods of recess, which sums may be ordered payable to the child, to either parent, or to the educational institution, directly or through a special account or trust created for that purpose, as the court sees fit.
        If educational expenses are ordered payable, each  
     parent and the child shall sign any consents necessary for the educational institution to provide the supporting parent with access to the child's academic transcripts, records, and grade reports. The consents shall not apply to any non‑academic records. Failure to execute the required consent may be a basis for a modification or termination of any order entered under this Section.
        The authority under this Section to make provision  
     for educational expenses, except where the child is mentally or physically disabled and not otherwise emancipated, terminates when the child receives a baccalaureate degree.
    (b) In making awards under paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (a), or pursuant to a petition or motion to decrease, modify, or terminate any such award, the court shall consider all relevant factors that appear reasonable and necessary, including:
        (1) The financial resources of both parents.
        (2) The standard of living the child would have  
     enjoyed had the marriage not been dissolved.
        (3) The financial resources of the child.
        (4) The child's academic performance.
(Source: P.A. 91‑204, eff. 1‑1‑00; 92‑876, eff. 6‑1‑03.)  

Best of Luck to you,


I was just in court in November, but in a different county.  The case prior to ours had that question.  In their case the judge issued notice that the child support would end at graduation.  Both parents knew the graduation was the last week of May, therefore the support was to end on that Friday.

I am not sure if different judges do it differently.  I do know that while that one case ended at 18, if the judge wants he can order the NCP to pay support as long as a child is in college(with graduation within reason)


Ironically, I have been discussing this issue of Soc's message board.

I am in Illinois and my son turns 18 this December but graduates from high school next June.  My decree does state which ever happens last.  

What I was looking for was legal guidance to extend the support past graduation.  Before you all jump down my throat, it is not for me.  I am looking for his father to help his son with college.  

Our son has mild form of autism and other learning disabilities and school has been extremely difficult but he has made it through with mine and his step-father's help.   He does want to go to college but he will not be able to work and go to school full time.  He has been unable to find just a summer job because of his difficulties with multi-tasking.

I know many custodial parents just want that free money to continue but there are cases where the "child" needs help.  I don't care if he sends the money directly to him or the school.  But he certainly cannot support himself and his father is very capable of helping.

I also have two stepdaughter 18 and her 4 month old and a stepdaughter 14 living with me.  They were kicked out by mom both within the last year.  We receive no support at all.  Is it worth going to court?  No because she doesn't have the money.  Trust me, my husband actually bought a count-down clock until the date he stopped paying child support.  And in our case, the mother used the money on herself and nothing towards the girls.  So I have been on that side where you can't wait until that support stops.  Ours was a big chunk of his pay.

But when a parent is capable, they should be required to help.  You don't stop being a mother or father when they turn 18.  And his father certainly has the means to help his son.

Does anyone know of any cases where the non-custodial parent has been ordered to support the child past 18 if attending school?  What county was it in?  I am in Kane County.


Yes, in Illinois they can extend child support through the college years.  Our case is in another county, but in court I have seen it happen.  We think ex will do this to us.  We are broke and they are rich, but she still wants every penny.  I want to go to court when SD turns 18 and change it so the money goes straight to her(school account) so ex can;t touch it.