Support Obligation For Children Over 18

I am constantly amazed at the parents who believe that once their child turns 18 and becomes emancipated that they, the parents, have no further obligations.

There is a growing trend of requiring adult children to be supported not only for the ones that are in college, but also when the child is mentally or physically disabled and not otherwise emancipated even though they have attained majority.

What does this all mean: section 513 of the Illinois marriage and dissolution of marriage act provides to sets of remedies for children subject to the divorce act or children of a single parent subject to the provisions of the paternity act. As an aside, this is probably the best example where equal protection of the law can be found for children who are that he was parents are divorced or children born to a single parent who has taken assistance from the court under the various paternity or support acts. Probably the only child that is an equal is the child of a married couple who don’t get divorced and therefore the child cannot compel educational expenses.

Illinois law provides that where a child is mentally or physically disabled and not otherwise emancipated, an application can be made for support both before and or after the child is gained his or her majority. It seems only fair that a parent should not be able to shed responsibility for child who cannot take care of him or her self. The court is able to look at the financial resources of the parents, the child, and the standard of living the child would have had if the child remained in an intact home.

When it comes to college education, if the judgment does not provide for college, colleges automatically covered and the parents obligated under ILCS section 513; but what details are there within the statute. The the courts will look at the financial resources of each parent and the child as well as the child’s aptitude for college and the standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage paren relationship and Brennan not been dissolved. As a practical matter the court will impose a standard of reasonableness where the exact terms of the college expense are not specific in the agreement. For example, in a case where child has the aptitude and desire for private university which easily could exceed $60,000 per year and the parents (or one of them) could not afford more than a state school, that parent’s liability will be limited by a portion of the cost of the state school. In a practical sense what the court will do is take the costs of the school less scholarships and loans available and consider those the child’s portion and then the remaining portion to be divided between the parents.

Other considerations frequently found in such education reimbursement orders are a requirement that the child’s full time, a limitation of four or five years for the schooling, and an obligation on the child’s part to communicate at least grades and classes to both parents.

The court can order the physically disabled, handicap, or otherwise unemanciapted child to receive child support, contribution to medical expenses, special care as needed.