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Can Child Support Cover College Expenses in Illinois?

Posted on in Divorce

St. Charles divorce attorney child support

In Illinois, both divorced and unmarried parents are obligated to contribute financially to child support for children under the age of 18, which covers their basic needs including food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, and regular daily expenses. However, many parents consider it important to pay for their children’s college education even after they have turned 18, and it can be challenging to account for this significant expense after a divorce when the parents’ assets have been divided. If you are a divorcing parent with a child who is in college or planning to attend in the future, you may want to take advantage of Illinois laws that allow you to address college expenses in your divorce agreement.

What College Costs Can Be Covered in a Divorce Agreement?

If the court determines that the situation calls for it, it can order both parents to contribute to college or vocational training expenses for a child up to the age of 23, and in some cases until the child turns 25. The order may account for a wide range of educational costs, including:

  • College applications and entrance exams: The court can require both parents to pay for the costs of five applications, two standardized exams such as the ACT and SAT, and one exam prep course.

  • Tuition and fees: Parents can be ordered to pay for the cost of the education itself, up to the cost of tuition and fees for an in-state student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • Housing expenses: This may include on- or off-campus housing, and is also based on the University of Illinois’s cost of room and board.

  • Medical, dental, and living expenses: While the child is pursuing an education, both parents may be obligated to contribute to medical insurance and treatment expenses, as well as the regular costs of food and transportation to classes.

  • Books and supplies: The cost of any books required for classes or supplies necessary for students to reasonably complete their academic work may be considered shared financial obligations for both parents.

Parents of children up to the age of 19 who are still in high school may also be expected to share contributions to these expenses. Illinois also has provisions in place to end these payments if the child completes a bachelor’s degree, gets married, or is unable to maintain a “C” average in their educational coursework.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer Today

At the Law Offices of Benedict Schwarz, II PC, we know that a college degree may be an important goal for you and your children. The cost of your children’s college education can often be overlooked during a divorce, but with our help, you can be sure to address it during your settlement negotiations and reach an agreement with your spouse that allows your children to pursue the educational experience they want. Contact us today at 847-428-7725 to schedule an initial consultation with a St. Charles child support attorney.





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