The West Suburban Divorce Support Group Message Board › Child Support when Kids Turn 18

Child Support when Kids Turn 18

Marcie
user 17912011
Bartlett, IL
Post #: 5
Does anyone know what happens when a child turns 18 or reaches the terms of the settlement agreement for when child support occurs? I am really looking to know does child support automatically decrease or does the "payor" have to petition the courts for a reduction?
A former member
Post #: 9
As a father who has recently started paying child support, I was told by my attorney that I'd have to petition the court to alter or end the payments. So when the child is about 6 months shy of the 18th b-day, the machinations should begin to alter/end the payments. (For me, this means I'd get in touch with my atty 6 months before the b-day to prepare the legal docs for court.)
Antoinette
user 26611752
Oak Park, IL
Post #: 6
I understand the legal aspect but what how many children are financially independent at 18? what percentage? 5%? 20%? How do you determine then how to help the child? I had one who was over 18 when we were divorcing and X has only been required to pay a small part of her tuition and nothing more so that is EXACTLY the support he gives her (and she also has special needs). If the child still lives with one parent most of the time does that parent then get stuck with all of the daily expenses?
Jean
user 54178422
Bolingbrook, IL
Post #: 1
FYI my 18 year old is still covered by child support because he hasn't finished high school. My attorney said it was 18 if out of high school, 19 otherwise.
Marcie
user 17912011
Bartlett, IL
Post #: 8
As a father who has recently started paying child support, I was told by my attorney that I'd have to petition the court to alter or end the payments. So when the child is about 6 months shy of the 18th b-day, the machinations should begin to alter/end the payments. (For me, this means I'd get in touch with my atty 6 months before the b-day to prepare the legal docs for court.)

Thanks Rick...your response was what I was looking for
Marcie
user 17912011
Bartlett, IL
Post #: 9
Even before I contacted my attorney (and my attorney had told me I did the right things):

1) Closed out all joint account, including credit cards.
2) Stop making any payments to 401k or retirement accounts.
3) Stop making any contributions to kids accounts.

One of the best things is that I brought my ex husband out on the house. We agreed that I would pay him half of the his share of the equity and the rest would be sent over 5 years. But the best part is that any out of pocket child reimbursements that he owes me can be deducted from that. This has saved me plenty since the divorce cause my ex has not paid any of out pocket expenses, but I was able to deduct it from the 1st payment I owed him.

Another thing negotiated was the cost of our 2 dogs. My ex was given the option of taking one or both dogs but did not want them. As part of our agreement, he splits the costs of the dogs when its above $50. Taking 2 dogs to the vet is expensive.

Bottom line get everything made very clear in the settlement document for the court to sign. Never assume anything and always be proactive about being your own advocate to protect yourself.

So I am glad that I protected not myself but protected my kids to assure that they can still grow up living a similiar life style before the divorce. Children should not have to suffer the financial consequences of the divorce, but unfortunately they do. My kids have come to understand that we do live a on a tighter budget than pre-divorce.

The biggest obstacle facing us will be to pay for college. I have heard that it will be very difficult for me to obtain money from my ex when college comes around even though he will be responsible for 1/3. My lawyer had told me that getting him to pay for college will be very tough to enforce through the courts. For now, I am not there yet so will deal with that when time comes.

If anyone knows how's that works if an ex defies the court settlement and does not pay for college, would be appreciated. Like what steps or actions can be taken?
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