Are Divorced Parents Required to Pay Children’s College Expenses?

Posted on in Illinois Family Law

DuPage County divorce lawyer for college expensesWhen married parents choose to split up, child support is one of the primary issues they will need to address. Those with younger children will likely be focused on making sure child support will address daily needs, such as providing children with food, shelter, and clothing. However, parents of teenagers may be looking at what will happen as their children grow up and leave home. Parents will usually want to make sure their children can receive the education they need to pursue opportunities in their chosen career. Because of this, divorcing parents will need to consider how they will contribute to their children’s college expenses.

Non-Minor Support in Illinois

While child support is paid until a child graduates from high school or turns 18 (whichever happens later), divorced parents in Illinois also have the obligation to help their children pay educational expenses when attending college. When creating a divorce settlement, parents may agree on how much they will each contribute, or the court may order either or both parents to pay a certain amount based on the incomes they earn and the property they own. When determining an appropriate amount, the court may also consider the financial resources available to the child, such as college savings accounts or financial aid.

Non-minor support for educational expenses may include:

  • The costs of tuition, room, and board. The maximum amount that parents will be required to contribute is capped at the actual costs of tuition, housing in a residence hall, and a standard meal plan during the same academic year for an in-state student attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • Medical and dental expenses. Parents will be required to provide medical insurance coverage for the child, and they may also contribute to other medical costs.

  • Books and other necessary supplies. 

If a parent is required to contribute to children’s college expenses, these orders may remain in effect until the child graduates and receives a bachelor’s degree. If the child has not graduated, support obligations will end when they turn 23, although support may be extended until age 25 if good cause is shown. Parents’ requirements to help pay for children’s college expenses will also end if their child gets married. A parent will no longer be obligated to provide support if the child does not maintain a cumulative grade point average equivalent to a “C”.

Contact a DuPage County Child Support Attorney

Whether your child is a toddler, a teenager, or anywhere in between, you will want to understand how you and your ex-spouse will help them obtain the college education they need. At Farooqi & Husain Law Office, we can advise you of your rights in these matters, and we can help you address this issue along with the other aspects of your divorce. Contact our Oakbrook Terrace non-minor support lawyers today at 630-909-9114 to get the legal help you need.


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