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IL divorce lawyerFor most parents in Illinois, paying child support is an obligation that ends once a child turns 18 or graduates from high school. However, for other parents, child support can continue for several years or even indefinitely. It is important to know when child support can be ordered after a child reaches legal adulthood so you can financially prepare yourself for any obligations you may have, as well as ensure that your child’s needs are met throughout their life.

Child Support for an Adult Child in College

Illinois is one of the few states that allows judges to order divorced parents to help their children pay for college or trade school. Married parents cannot be ordered to do this, but divorced parents can because of the idea that a child should continue to enjoy the standard of living she would have expected had her parents stayed married. For some families, this includes assistance with college tuition, although judges are not obligated to order parents to pay their child’s educational expenses.

The financial assistance a child gets for college cannot exceed the cost of in-state tuition at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, although the limit does take into consideration expenses like books, living expenses, and health insurance. Parents paying for their child’s university expenses are entitled to access to the child’s educational records, and the child is obligated to keep up a C-grade average. A parent’s educational support obligation ends once the child turns 23, gets married, earns a bachelor’s degree or skills certificate, or falls below a C-grade average.

IL family lawyerCollege is notorious for being exorbitantly expensive; even if a child attends an in-state school, they could be paying tens of thousands of dollars a year to earn a degree in a field that may or may not have good prospects for future financial success.

Many parents, especially those who are divorced and who do not share values and priorities, are torn over whether the cost of sending a child to college is ultimately worth it. While parents who are still married cannot be compelled to pay for an adult child’s college education, many parents who are divorced may be surprised to learn than they can be. If you have a child approaching college age and you are wondering about your child support obligations regarding their university tuition, read on and then contact an Illinois adult child support attorney for advice in your specific case.

Parents Can be Ordered to Pay for a Child’s College Degree in Illinois

One of the priorities of Illinois family law is to reduce, as much as possible, the impact of divorce on the children of divorced parents. One way that the law does this is by considering what the life quality of the child would have been if the parents had stayed married. This is fundamentally the justification for the law allowing divorced parents to be required to contribute to an adult child’s education.

Is There Any Way to Lower My Child Support Payment?

Posted on in Child Support

St. Charles, IL child support lawyerThe state of Illinois expects parents to financially support their children even if they are unmarried or divorced. Child support payments help divide the financial burden between both of the parents. The parent with the lesser amount of parenting time provides financial support to the parent with the greater share of the parenting time. The parent with the majority of parenting time makes his or her financial contributions to the child by paying for things like housing, groceries, and other everyday expenses.

If you are the paying parent or “obligor” you may be worried about your ability to make child support payments. Perhaps you have lost your job or experienced another financial hardship, and you can no longer afford child support. There are ways to modify a child support payment amount, however, the courts only allow child support modifications in certain circumstances.

Request a Modification Review

Child support obligations are based on both parents’ net incomes and are designed to be affordable and reasonable. However, the state recognizes that parents’ financial situations can change. If you wish to reduce your child support obligation, you will need to file a petition to modify your child support order. You will need to explain your reasons for requesting the modification. Typically, a “substantial change in circumstances” is needed for a parent to get his or her child support order changed.

Kane County Paternity LawyerIn Illinois, both parents have a legal responsibility to provide financial support to a child. The parent with the greater amount of parenting time, or time spent with the child, is the parent who receives child support. The parent with less parenting time is responsible for making child support payments. Child support payors or "obligors" may be men or women. However, statistics show that about 85 percent of the people who pay child support are men. 

Many people have questions about how and when a father is required to pay child support. For example, does a father have to pay child support if he never sees his child? Can a father surrender his parental rights? Can a father avoid paying child support by refusing to sign the birth certificate? 

Parentage and Paternity in Illinois

In order to understand how child support works, it is important to first understand the concept of "parentage." Parentage is defined as the legal relationship between a child and his or her parents. Once parentage is established, parents have certain rights and responsibilities towards their child. Parentage involving fathers is called paternity

St. Charles Child Support LawyerChild support is an important form of financial assistance for parents in Illinois. Payments are based on both parents’ net income, and often paid on a monthly basis. The parent with the majority of parenting time, formerly called the custodial parent, receives child support from the parent with less parenting time.  If the parents each have at least 40 percent of the parenting time, the child support obligation is reduced accordingly.

Usually, child support ends when a child turns 18 and graduates high school or graduates from college. However, what happens if a child is emancipated?

Emancipation of a Child in Illinois

The Emancipation of Minors Act was passed in 1980. It allows individuals to become either partially or fully independent from their parents. Emancipation automatically occurs when a child turns 18 and becomes an adult. However, a special emancipation order can expedite the process and allow a 16 or 17-year-old to be emancipated. To become emancipated, teenagers must show that they are mature enough to handle their own affairs. They must also demonstrate that they have already been living partially or completely separate from their parents or guardians.

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