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IL family lawyerFor unmarried and divorced parents, child support is a vital source of financial assistance. Illinois child support usually ends when the child becomes an adult and finishes high school or college. At this point, the child is considered old enough to provide for his or her own financial needs. However, some children require financial assistance beyond childhood. If your child has a disability, you may be able to get child support even after he or she is an adult.

Child Support for Children With Disabilities

If your child has a disability, he or she may not be able to reach the same level of financial independence as a child without a disability. This can place a major financial burden on the child and the child’s parent. Fortunately, parents of disabled children may be able to extend child support past the typical cut-off point. This can help the parents cover child-related costs such as housing, in-home care, medical costs, and more.

What Counts as a Disability for the Purposes of Non-Minor Child Support?

You may be wondering what types of disabilities qualify a child for extended child support. Per Illinois law, a disabled person is one who has a mental or physical impairment that “substantially limits a major life activity.” You will also need to show that there is a medical record of this disability. Furthermore, the disability must have occurred before the child reached the typical child support cut-off age. Intellectual disabilities like autism, physical disabilities such as blindness, and mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder may all qualify for extended child support.

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Il family lawyerA university education can set up a young person for long-term career success. Unfortunately, college is also increasingly expensive. The average cost of just one year of college education in the U.S. is over $35,000. Out-of-state colleges and private colleges can be even more expensive. If you are a divorced parent or you are considering divorce in the near future, you may wonder how these costs are addressed. Is college included in child support payments? Are divorced parents required to split the cost of a university education? Read on to learn more.

Educational Expenses for a Non-Minor Child

When parents are unmarried or divorced, one parent may be required to pay child support to the other. These payments help the parent with the majority of the parenting time cover housing, education costs, childcare, and other child-related expenses. A parent’s child support obligation typically terminates once the child grows into an adult. However, it is possible for child support to extend past the child’s 18th birthday. In an Illinois divorce, parents have the opportunity to petition the court for non-minor child support to cover college expenses like tuition and housing.

How Much Does Each Parent Pay?

If parents cannot reach an agreement about how to finance their child’s university education, the court may step in and decide for them. The court will consider both parents’ income, property, and overall financial circumstances. The student’s own financial resources, including income from a part-time job, scholarships, and grants, are also factored into the court’s decision. The standard of living established during the marriage and the child’s academic success can also play into the court’s decision.

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st charles child support lawyerAny parent can confirm the fact that having children can get very expensive. Childcare, tuition and other school expenses, and extracurricular fees are just some of the child-related costs parents may encounter.

Many divorced and unmarried parents receive financial assistance from the other parent in the form of child support payments. However, some parents may experience financial difficulties that leave them unable to pay child support. If you or your child’s other parent are currently unemployed or facing another financial hardship, you may wonder how this can influence child support payments. Read on to learn how Illinois courts handle child support when a parent is unemployed and what you should do if you need to modify or enforce your current child support order.

Does a Parent Have to Pay Child Support if They are Unemployed?

A statutory formula determines the amount that a parent pays in child support in Illinois. Both parent’s net incomes are taken into account so that the payment amount is appropriate and reasonably affordable. You  may ask, “If a parent has no income, does that mean that he or she is absolved of his or her child support obligation?” The short answer is no. Unemployment does not automatically terminate or decrease a parent’s child support obligation. However, the parent may be able to reduce his or her child support obligation by successfully petitioning the court for a child support order modification.

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St. Charles child support modification attorneys

It is no surprise that a person’s financial health is often subject to ups and downs, depending on what is going on in society and what is going on in their own personal life. The current COVID-19 pandemic is a perfect example of how significant our finances can be impacted due to circumstances beyond our control. It is situations such as this, where a parent may seek modifications to an existing child support order. Under Illinois law, there are unforeseen circumstances that arise and these can bring forth a need to modify the court-ordered child support that is in place.

When Is an Appropriate Time to Ask for a Child Support Modification?

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St. Charles divorce attorney child support

When a child’s parents are divorced or unmarried, child support is an important means of ensuring that the child’s needs are provided for financially. However, it is not always easy for a paying parent to fulfill his or her obligations, especially in the midst of financial hardship. If you are struggling to pay court-ordered child support for whatever reason, an attorney can help you explore your options and pursue the one that best meets your needs.

Child Support Obligations in Illinois

Since July 2017, basic child support obligations in Illinois have been calculated based on a proportional share of the two parents’ combined net incomes. This often helps to ensure that both parents are treated fairly and that child support obligations do not create an undue financial burden on either party. That said, you may still find it challenging to fulfill your obligation in the months and years following the initial court order.

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