The Statute of Limitations on Child Support in Illinois

By Jonita Davis

It is a common knowledge that a child support order ends, in normal circumstances, when a child reaches the age of 18. Normal circumstances include absence of disability or agreement between parents to continue the support past what is known as the age of majority or 18 years of age. Sometimes a child is still in high school after turning 18 or the agreement is to continue payments through college. Both are not normal circumstances. The statute of limitations on child support payments addresses payments in normal circumstances that may extend past the age of majority.

The Facts

All child support orders end when the child turns 18 or is emancipated. Emancipated children are those who have petitioned the court and won the right to support themselves. Unless there is an abnormal circumstance surrounding the child support order (disability, school, agreement), then the parent charged with paying support can end the payments when the child reaches age 18.

Statute of Limitations on Enforcement

There is no statute of limitations on court ordered child support payments in the state of Illinois. The court order stands and is enforceable until the ordered parent complies. Failure to pay court ordered child support can have its own consequences like fines, loss of driver’s license or jail time.


Child support agreements that have yet to come through the court system do have a statute of limitations. You have two years after the age of majority to establish paternity of the child in order to seek child support.

Legislative Exception

According to Illinois State Code, child support orders enacted before July 1, 1997 have a statute of limitations of 20 years. This means that that after 20 years, the child support orders enacted before the July date are unenforceable. All orders enacted after July 1, 1997 have no statute of limitations.


In addition to the lack of a statute of limitations in enforcing child support orders, the delinquent parents can expect interest to accrue on the missed payments. An interest penalty is levied 30 days after a child support payment is missed and accrues yearly until the payment is made.