Child Support for College Expenses
At Botti Marinaccio, LTD., our team recognizes the importance of getting a quality education for your children. For many students, this includes obtaining a college degree or a formal trade certification. Over the last few decades, the costs of post-high school education programs have skyrocketed leaving some divorced parents struggling to afford college for their children. Under Illinois law, a divorced parent has the right to receive assistance from an ex-spouse to cover college and post-secondary education expenses for a child.
Understanding Illinois Law Regarding Child Support for College Expenses
In the state of Illinois, a standard child support order is scheduled to end when the supported child graduates from high school or reaches his or her 18th birthday, whichever happens last. Depending on the circumstances, however, the court can order one or both divorced parents to continue supporting the child by helping with college expenses. This type of support may continue well after the child is considered to be an adult. It is important to understand that the request for such support must be made by one of the parents and not the child.
Considerations In Calculating College Expenses
When deciding on child support for college expenses, the court must consider many factors. First, the existing divorce judgment will be examined to establish whether the child’s college costs were addressed during the divorce. For example, if you and your spouse agreed to each pay half of your child’s college expenses, the court may order you both to honor your agreement. Likewise, if you and your spouse decided that it would be up to children to pay their own way through college, the court may uphold that decision as well.
However, if the divorce judgment does not include considerations for your children’s college expenses, the court will then take into account each parent’s resource and needs, as well as those of the child. The child’s academic record and performance will also be considered. As a practical matter, the court might hesitate to order parents to help pay for college for a child who regularly struggled throughout high school. The knowledgeable lawyers at Botti Marinaccio, LTD. have decades of family law experience. Let us put our skills to work for you to develop creative solutions regarding college-related child support.
Protecting Parents’ Rights
The law in Illinois contains provisions that are intended to protect divorced parents who are required to help their child pay for college. Under the law, only unmarried students under age 23 qualify to receive such assistance. For good cause shown, the age limit could be increased to age 25. Additionally, the parents’ support must be used to cover approved expenses, including tuition, room, board, supplies, travel, utilities, and other costs directly associated with college or trade school. The law also sets the basis for such expenses as the expenses incurred by an average student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. If the student gets married or does not maintain at least a C average, the court can terminate the order for support.
At Botti Marinaccio, LTD., our team will help you enlist the aid of your ex-spouse so that your child can go to college. Our lawyers can also assist you if your ex-spouse is asking you to contribute to your child’s education. We will ensure that your rights are fully protected and that you will still have the resources you need to move forward with your life.