In most situations in Illinois, you will not always have to pay child support. Eventually, your child will grow up and you no longer will have a responsibility to provide for his or her care. The only exception is if your child has special needs. Typically, though, you can expect child support to end. When this happens, though, can vary.

The Department of Healthcare and Family Services explains the usual rule is that you will stop paying child support when your child reaches the age of 18. However, there are exceptions. For example, if you have more than one child, you will continue to pay until the last child reaches the age of 18. You may request a modification to lower the amount as each child reaches 18, but you need to have a court order for this.

Another exception is if your court agreement stipulates something different. Perhaps in the agreement you said you would continue payments as long as your child was enrolled in school full time. If your child goes to college, then this means you would continue paying even after the child turns 18.

The law changes in 2003, which may also extend your obligation. If your child is still in high school, you must pay until he or she graduates or turns 19, which happens first.

Finally, you may continue paying even after your last child reaches the age of 18 if you owe back child support. Anything you still owe must be paid before your obligations are over. This information is for education and is not legal advice.