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"Does my child support order automatically decrease if one of my two children turns 18 and graduates from high school?" In Illinois, child support must be paid until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, which ever is later. However, the support does not have to be paid beyond the age of 19 if the child continues in high school and has not yet graduated.
So, if your child turns 18 and then graduates from high school, this becomes a basis for decreasing your child support payments. What determines whether your child support "automatically" decreases is the wording of the court order (or administrative order) from which you pay your child support. On the one hand, for example, if the order states that you pay $500 per month in child support, and you have two children, then the child support does not automatically decrease when one of of the children is emancipated. You must file a petition to reduce the child support, and ask the court (or administrative hearing officer) to decrease your support. On the other hand, for example, if your order states that you pay $250 per month, per child, in child support, then upon the emancipation of one child, your child support will automatically decrease to $250 a month for the other child. One guideline in which you should follow is to look carefully at your child support order before you agree to it. It is essential to understand how a child support order works in Illinois. The real lesson here is that divorce law is complicated and frequently counter intuitive. Your best bet is to hire a professional divorce lawyer. If you have questions or concerns regarding a child support order, contact a DuPage County divorce lawyer today. Our divorce lawyers at Martoccio & Martoccio are highly skilled and experienced in how to make the law work for you.
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