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How Are College Expenses Divided Between Divorced Parents in Illinois?

 Posted on October 15,2021 in Child Support

Il family lawyerA university education can set up a young person for long-term career success. Unfortunately, college is also increasingly expensive. The average cost of just one year of college education in the U.S. is over $35,000. Out-of-state colleges and private colleges can be even more expensive. If you are a divorced parent or you are considering divorce in the near future, you may wonder how these costs are addressed. Is college included in child support payments? Are divorced parents required to split the cost of a university education? Read on to learn more.

Educational Expenses for a Non-Minor Child

When parents are unmarried or divorced, one parent may be required to pay child support to the other. These payments help the parent with the majority of the parenting time cover housing, education costs, childcare, and other child-related expenses. A parent’s child support obligation typically terminates once the child grows into an adult. However, it is possible for child support to extend past the child’s 18th birthday. In an Illinois divorce, parents have the opportunity to petition the court for non-minor child support to cover college expenses like tuition and housing.

How Much Does Each Parent Pay?

If parents cannot reach an agreement about how to finance their child’s university education, the court may step in and decide for them. The court will consider both parents’ income, property, and overall financial circumstances. The student’s own financial resources, including income from a part-time job, scholarships, and grants, are also factored into the court’s decision. The standard of living established during the marriage and the child’s academic success can also play into the court’s decision.

Financial support from parents is capped by Illinois law. Parents cannot be required to pay more than the cost of a four-year education at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Sometimes the court orders both parents and the child to each contribute a third of the total costs. Other times, one parent is required to pay a greater share of tuition and fees than the other. It all depends on the specific facts of the case. Parents are not required to finance their child’s post-graduate degrees.

Contact a St. Charles Divorce Lawyer

If you are an unmarried or divorced parent, or you plan to divorce soon, you may have questions and concerns about financing your child’s college education. The skilled Kane County divorce lawyers at Weiler & Associates, Inc. can help you understand your rights and obligations under Illinois law. Call us today at 630-331-9110 for a confidential consultation.



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