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How long does child support last?

As a parent who has been ordered to pay child support, you may be interested in when you can end it as well. It's not that you don't want to provide for your child, but the reality is that once you don't have a required payment, you'll still continue to provide for your child in other ways. Having a constant withdrawal from your accounts is stressful, and it's understandable.

Child support does have an end date. In Illinois, child support usually ends when a child is emancipated which is generally upon reaching 18 years of age.  If the child is still in high school on their 18th birthday, then child support will end upon graduation from high school so long as the child has not reached the age of 19.  

What is emancipation?

Emancipation occurs when a minor reaches the age of 18 or when a minor becomes self-supporting and no longer needs or wants the support of their parents. Minors may become emancipated when they join the military, get married or are economically independent and leave home. This can take place before your child reaches 18.

What is the age of majority?

The age of majority is 18 in most cases, but it may be 21 depending on the state where your support order was created. The age of majority is usually when a child is old enough to move out of the home and make legal decisions for themselves.

In some cases, special needs and college costs may add to the length of child support payments if so ordered by the court. This is something to discuss with your attorney, as is any part of a divorce or child support agreement. Having the right information allows you to know what to expect in the future as your child grows, and you work your way toward retirement.

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