Terminate Court Ordered Child Support

When circumstances allow a parent to end their child support payments.

Child support is typically paid until the child legally becomes an adult or graduates high school unless specifically stated otherwise in your support agreement. Before considering the termination of a support order you think is unfair, remember that the court only eliminates payments altogether under very specific circumstances. Feeling you have a bad deal isn't enough of a reason to stop paying child support.

If you truly believe the support agreement to be unfair, you should first request to reduce the payments with the court.

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Grounds for Terminating Child Support Early

Like we mentioned before, there are a few specific instances while child support may terminate before the agreed upon end date:

  • Child Emancipation
    • If a child files to be emancipated from one or both of the parents the court may allow for the termination of payments. A child who has been granted legal emancipation is considered an adult even if they're under 18 years old. This is also true if they join the military before the support order ends.
  • Child Gets Married
    • In Illinois it is legal to be married after the age of sixteen (albeit with parental permission), meaning there is a possibility of them getting married before child support ends at 18. If a child gets married they're considered independent and no longer eligible to receive aid from child support.
  • Terminate Parental Rights
    • If the court or other circumstances terminate a parent's parental rights then the obligation to pay child support would end with it. This would also be true in a case where a new spouse is willing to legally adopt the children, terminating the parental responsibilities of the former spouse.
  • Third Party Child Adoption
    • During an adoption from a third party (such as a grandparent or stepmother or father), parents who previously had the responsibility of caring for a child no longer bear the responsibility, which means the obligation of paying child support also ceases.

References: Termination of a Support Order


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