Illinois is one of just a handful of states that address the cost of educating one’s children beyond high school for divorcing couples. While some parents find this off-putting, others find it encouraging. Better understanding your parental rights and obligations in the State of Illinois can help you live up to them and can help you ensure that ex does the same. If you are facing a question or concern related to divorce and your child’s college education, consulting with an experienced Illinois divorce attorney is well-advised.
Divorced parents are not universally required to pay for college in the State of Illinois, and there is no set payment methodology used when divorcing parents are required to do so. There are, however, some basics that apply. The court has the right to require parents to cover their children’s college educations (addressed as educational expenses for a non-minor child), and this extends not only to tuition but also to all the following:
Further, because colleges and universities range considerably in price, Illinois uses the current cost of in-state tuition for the current academic year at Champaign-Urbana as the standard bearer (and parents are not required to contribute beyond this amount).
The court will also consider the child receiving the education in all the following ways:
Upon graduation (with a bachelor’s degree), the parent’s financial obligation ceases. The same is true if the student marries before graduating.
In the determination of whether or not one – or both – divorcing parents are required to pay for a child’s education, the courts take the following primary factors into consideration:
While the constitutionality of requiring divorced parents to pay for their children’s college costs – when married parents don’t face the same requirement – has been challenged more than once, the Illinois Supreme Court recently upheld this requirement.
The practiced Illinois divorce attorneys at WARD FAMILY LAW, LLC, have a wealth of experience successfully navigating the financial complexities of divorce, including the matter of establishing who will be paying for your children’s college educations. This is an important parental consideration, and we have the experience and legal insight to help you resolve the matter favorably. Learn more by reaching out and contacting us for more information today.
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