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How Many Years Do You Have to Pay Child Support in Illinois?

 Posted on June 15, 2023 in Child Support

Wheaton Divorce LawyerIn cases of divorce or separation, it is important to ensure children’s financial stability and welfare, and child support plays a critical role in this. In Illinois, the duration of child support payments is determined by state laws and depends on various factors. This blog post will delve into the Illinois guidelines and factors related to child support.

Establishing Child Support

When a court determines child support obligations, it considers several factors, such as the child’s needs, the income of both parents and the allocation of parental responsibilities. When determining child support in Illinois, both parents’ incomes are considered, known as the income shares model.

Duration of Child Support

Child support usually ends when the child turns 18 in Illinois.. However, some exceptions increase the length of child support.:

Post-High School Education

If the child intends to pursue higher education, child support may continue until they complete their undergraduate degree or turn 23, whichever comes first. This provision recognizes the importance of supporting a child’s education and helping them transition into adulthood.

Disability or Special Needs

In cases where the child has a disability or special needs, child support may extend beyond 18. The court will consider the child’s specific circumstances and determine an appropriate duration of support to meet their ongoing needs.

Modifications and Termination

Child support orders in Illinois are not set in stone and can be modified under certain circumstances. If there are substantial changes in the parents’ financial situations or the child’s needs, either parent can request a child support order modification. It is important to note that the court must approve modifications before making any changes.


Additionally, child support obligations automatically terminate under the following circumstances:

The child reaches the age of 18 and does not require additional support for higher education or special needs.

  • The child gets married or enters into a civil union.

  • The child becomes financially independent.

  • The child passes away.


Nonpayment of Child Support

Failure to pay child support in Illinois can have serious legal consequences. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) has the authority to enforce child support orders and take action against non-paying parents. Penalties for nonpayment can include wage garnishment, suspension of driver’s licenses, interception of tax refunds, and even imprisonment in extreme cases.

Contact a Wheaton Divorce Lawyer Today

Understanding the duration of child support in Illinois is essential for parents involved in a divorce or separation. Sometimes it can be difficult to navigate. You can have some guidance on your path with an Illinois family law attorney. Call Hensley Sendek Law at 630-358-9029 today for a free consultation.

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