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St. Charkes College Expenses Divorce Lawyers

Kane County Child Support for College Expenses Lawyers

Child Support Attorneys in Kane County for Post-High School Education

About two-thirds of today's high school graduates get at least some post-secondary education, half attain a two-year degree, and over one-third achieve a four-year bachelor's degree or more. Most parents hope to give their children at least some financial assistance with post-high school education expenses.

But when parents are divorced or unmarried, and basic child support payments end, the question of the parents' legal obligation to pay for college is often unresolved.

At Weiler & Associates, Inc., we understand that your circumstances can change dramatically between the time of a divorce and the time when your children are ready to start college. Nonetheless, we encourage you to address the subject of future college expenses as part of your divorce settlement agreement. When the time comes, if there has been a substantial change in circumstances, we can petition for a modification of the original divorce order.

Through our years of experience dedicated to the practice of divorce and family law, we can recommend a variety of options that will provide a sense of security for your children's future.

Does Illinois Require Divorced Parents to Pay for Children's College?

Child support generally ends at age 18 or 19 when a child graduates from high school, but a court may separately award college education expenses as part of a divorce settlement, per Illinois law 750 ILCS 5/513. The family court may order divorced parents to pay educational expenses for a non-minor child up to the age 23, or up to age 25 where there is good cause.

If the parents determined by mutual agreement how to pay a child's post-secondary education expenses, and this was incorporated into the divorce decree, the parents' agreement will be binding unless modified by the court.

If the subject was not addressed in the divorce decree, either parent may petition the court to order the other parent to contribute toward college expenses. A good time to do this is during the child's junior or senior year in high school before they start applying to colleges.

Even if the parents will not be paying for college, the court may require both parties and the child to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

How Much Can I Be Ordered to Pay for a Non-Minor Child's Education?

The court may order parents to pay for the following college expenses:

  • College applications, standardized tests, and test prep.
  • The equivalent of in-state tuition plus room and board at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, plus the cost of books and necessary supplies.
  • Actual medical expenses and reasonable living expenses during the academic year and breaks.

When making or modifying orders for college expenses, the court must consider factors including but not limited to:

  • The present and future financial resources and needs of both parties, including their need to save for retirement.
  • The financial resources of the child.
  • The child's academic performance.

The court order may include a provision allowing termination of payments if the child fails to maintain a "C" grade point average.

Divorce and Family Law Attorneys in St. Charles, Illinois

If you are thinking about your child's post-high school education expenses and want to make sure that your child receives a fair contribution from both parents towards those expenses, the divorce and family attorneys of Weiler & Associates, Inc. can assist you in negotiating an agreement and obtaining a court order to ensure payment. Contact us in our St. Charles office at 630-331-9110. We serve clients in Kane County including the communities of Batavia, Elgin, Geneva, Pingree Grove, and St. Charles.

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