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When does child support end?


Under most circumstances, child support ends, or will be adjusted and often reduced, when a child emancipates (turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever event comes later).  However, there are exceptions and rules that are important. 

  • A person paying child support should not stop paying or reduce support when a child emancipates. 
  • If there is a court order for support, that support must continue to be paid until a new court order is entered terminating or reducing child support.  DO NOT assume that you can stop paying without obtaining a court order that expressly allows you to stop paying. 
  • If you simply stop paying or reduce what you pay, you may be found to be in contempt of court in spite of the common sense notion that your support obligation is reduced or completed.
  • If you have child support withheld from your pay checks and paid to the State Disbursement Unit, the order may automatically terminate the withholding.  This is one of several benefits of paying through the State system.
  • If you have a child with an IEP, the support obligation will likely continue.
  • If your child is pursuing education after high school, either college or vocational training, the obligation for support may be different, but will likely continue.
  • If your child is disabled, the support obligation will likely continue.
  • Child support calculations have been substantially changed and new support calculations often result in a much smaller amount of monthly support being paid.

As we head into May graduations, this is a good time for a complimentary consultation with us about child support changes. 

This is also a good time to make sure that everyone has complied with the requirements of exchanging income verification for 2018 and to review what child support should be. 


Wakeman Law Group

741 S. McHenry Avenue

Crystal Lake, IL 60014




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