Q: Child support in Illinois: college student plus child with disabilities. My lawyer refused to do as I asked.
My ex and I originally compromised on our initial child support agreement. He offered a generous amount until the youngest of 4 kids was 18. I had always been stay at home mom. Because of his generosity (no calculations or % when it was still law), I did not seek maintenance. Then when oldest is going to college, but living with me, he petitioned to modify. New wife didn't like our arrangement. I hired a lawyer. I paid her $2500. Yet she refused to go before the judge as I requested to let the judge determine new support. I wanted consideration for college expenses and the fact that we have a disabled child which limits my ability to have gainful employment. She said it was unethical and withdrew from my case because I insisted. 1. Upon now knowing the depths of life with an autistic child, can I seek maintenance? 2. Doesn't Illinois law allow a judge to consider college and disabilities to determine child support? 3. Can I sue her for damages for not representing as I asked?
A: It is probably too late to seek maintenance, although you may have a very slim chance by arguing you and your ex were mistaken as to the facts involved when you made your choice. A judge can consider (and award) college expenses and can take into account the added expense of raising a disabled child. Without a more information I have no idea whether it's worth suing your prior attorney.
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