As the school year is coming to a close, divorced parents with children who are graduating high school or becoming emancipated need to ensure that the proper motions are drafted and that a court order is subsequently entered by a Judge to either modify or terminate child support obligations. Otherwise, the child support obligations can remain in place, as-is.
What does this mean and what do you need to do? A court-ordered child support obligation does not necessarily automatically terminate simply because a child becomes emancipated or graduates from high school. It is the responsibility of the paying party to notify the court through proper notice and filings of the changes in circumstance that warrant a termination or modification of a child support obligation. Your divorce or family law attorney can review your Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage, Marital Settlement Agreement, Uniform Order for Child Support, and Notice of Withholding to advise you regarding next steps. These post-divorce (or post-decree) issues are common and your divorce attorney can prepare the requisite motion to either terminate or modify (if there are additional children or obligations remaining) child support to ensure timely addressing of the issue.
In preparing to move forward, a party should pull together all of their court records previously filed and entered (related to child support) along with recent income documentation (such as pay stubs and tax returns) and proof of emancipation or graduation prompting the issue to be addressed by the court. Your family law attorney in Chicago will need this basic information and documentation to determine next steps and strategy.
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