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Can Child Support Be Ordered for College Expenses in Illinois?

 Posted on December 23, 2020 in Child Support

Wheaton family lawyerLaws throughout the United States, including in Illinois, require both of a child’s legal parents to contribute to child support to provide for basic needs until the child reaches the age of 18. However, many children benefit from the financial support of their parents even after they reach adulthood, especially if they want to pursue a college education. In general, parents are not legally required to provide support under these circumstances, but Illinois law does include a provision through which both parents may be ordered to contribute to their children’s college expenses after a divorce or separation.

When Is a Child Eligible for Support for College Expenses?

Parents are, of course, free to make their own arrangements to contribute to their children’s higher education under any circumstances. However, after a divorce or separation, it may be best for a parent to pursue a legally binding order that ensures that both parents contribute. In these cases, an Illinois court will only consider issuing an order if the following criteria are met:

  • The child must usually be under the age of 23, but support may continue until the age of 25 if there is a valid reason.

  • The child must be unmarried.

  • The child must not yet have earned a Bachelor’s degree.

  • The child must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least a “C”.

If the court does issue an order, it may terminate at any point if the child no longer meets these criteria.

What Expenses May Be Covered?

When deciding the amount of support to order from each parent, the court may consider a variety of costs to be educational expenses. This includes tuition, fees, and housing, although these expenses are usually capped at the amount the child would pay for in-state tuition and campus housing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It also includes the costs of books and supplies required for the child’s coursework, as well as medical expenses and regular living expenses similar to the support that would be owed a minor child, including food and transportation.

The court will usually attempt to reach a decision that reflects the support the child could have expected if his or her parents were still married. This means that parents with greater financial resources may be ordered to provide more than parents whose resources are limited. The court will also consider any other financial resources the child has to pay for college, including scholarships, grants, and loans, which may reduce the need for support from parents.

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

Deciding how much each parent should contribute to college expenses can be complicated, but it is an important decision to make when you want to give your children the best possible educational opportunities. At A. Traub & Associates, we can help you reach an agreement that provides for your child while also protecting your financial interests. Call our qualified and dedicated Wheaton child support lawyers today at 630-426-0196 to arrange a private consultation.



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