If your child is over 18, can they sign off on child support case to have it dropped?

Asked on January 15, 2013 under Family Law, Illinois


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A child's preference is something that the courts can look at, but it will depend on your court order and the exact support obligation that you are seeking to end.

If the support that you want waived is back child support, then no, it won't matter what the 18 year old wants because the support obligation has already accrued and its purpose is to reimburse the other parent for the extra support they provided during lapses in payments.

Most orders terminate the support obligation once a child turns 18-- so the issue may be moot anyhow.  You simply need to file a motion to end the support obligation because the child has reached the age of majority. 

Two exceptions to this rule are if the parties have agreed to a longer period of support or the child has special needs which dictate support after turning 18.  For the first exception, if the 18 year old is completely independent and no longer requires the support of the custodial parent, then it will be easier to get the support obligation terminated, even if it was part of the original agreement.  For the second exception, if the child has special needs and those were factored in when the custody orders were originally entered, then the approval by the child will not carry as much weight.  Instead the court and the custodial parent will have more say in the continuation of the obligation.

As you can see, many factors other than the consent of the child can come into play.  To know exactly how the judge will most likely rule in your case, arrange for a consultation with a family law attorney (or attorneys) that practice in your jurisdiction. 

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