What’s the catch? You must meet the 2 following criteria:
- You are the parent of a child or children who are 17-18 years of age.
- You or the other parent have been subject to a court-ordered child support obligation, divorce, or parentage order.
If you meet those two criteria there are 3 things you should be considering in the next month to save yourself some money and to help your son or daughter. Here’s the list of what ‘To Do’ and also common mistakes I see:
- Terminate Child Support in a Timely Fashion. According to Illinois law, child support should be terminated when a child turns 18, 19, or when a child is graduated from high school. In my experience 80%-90% of kids turn 18 and then graduate from high school sometime during the year that they are 18-years-old. Thus, high school graduation is the most common event requiring the termination of child support. Common Mistake: Most people who are not our clients do not file to terminate child support soon enough. If your son or daughter is set to graduate from high school on say June 10, 2013, you should be filing your petition to terminate child support NOW! Courts don’t move quickly. Why pay a couple extra months (or years) of child support when you don’t have to?
- Pursue Support for Post-High School Educational Expenses. If your son or daughter is planning on attending any sort of post-high school training from a traditional college setting to any sort of vocational school this is absolutely an area where you or your child shouldn’t be stuck footing the bill by yourselves…the other parent has an obligation to financially support the child. The is even more critical when a child is mentally or physically disabled. Common Mistake: In my experience this sort of financial obligation is not as well known as traditional child support and thus is not as likely to be pursued. Also, people wait and then miss-out on any contribution towards earlier periods of schooling…you can only recover these costs from the date you file and thereafter.
- Money for Summer. Granted my parents were not divorced, but I surely spent my summers during college back at home with the folks living off of their dime (for the most part). And in a typical situation where parents are not living together a child will spend the majority of summer living with one parent. From the very first summer after high school graduation to all those summers in-between each year of school…get the financial support that you and your child are entitled to from the other parent. Common Mistake: In my experience this sort of financial obligation is not as well known as traditional child support and thus is not as likely to be pursued. Or even if a college expense contribution is made, these periods of “recess” are ignored even though they are part of the statute.
Act now because with the above items, time is money!