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How Do Divorced Parents Pay For Their Child's College Expenses?

 Posted on May 26, 2022 in Divorce

Wheaton Divorce AttorneyAs high schools finish up their spring semesters, many young people have their sights set on college. As a parent, the prospect of your child attending university can be both exciting and nerve-racking. College gets more and more expensive with each passing year. Average tuition and fees for public schools currently averages over $10,000 for in-state schools and nearly $23,000 for out-of-state schools. Private schools are even more expensive, with an average annual tuition of approximately $38,000.

If you are divorced and your child is nearing college age, it is important to understand how Illinois law handles the division of college tuition and related expenses between divorced parents.

Divorced Parents May Be Required to Contribute to College Costs

Many divorced parents in Illinois are surprised to learn that the state can require parents to contribute to their child's college education. Illinois is one of the few states with this type of law on the books. While the constitutionality of the law has been called into question several times, the law still stands.

Each Party's Contribution to College Tuition, Fees, Housing, and other Expenses

The amount of money that a parent may be required to contribute to their child's college education is determined on a case-by-case basis. Unlike child support, there is no statutory formula for determining a parent's obligation. The court will allocate college expenses between the parents and the child based on many different factors, including:

Each parent's present and future earning capacity

Each parent's income and property including retirement funds

The standard of living the child would have experienced if the parents were still married

The child's financial resources including income earned through employment, scholarships, and grants

The parents' financial obligation ceases if the child fails to maintain at least a "C" grade average, gets married, graduates with a bachelor's degree, or turns 23 years old.

Fortunately, the amount of money that a parent may be required to contribute to their child's college education is limited. The parents cannot be required to contribute more than the cost of attending the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

College is extremely expensive. If you want to learn more about your rights and responsibilities regarding college expenses for divorced parents, contact Goostree Law Group. Our Wheaton divorce attorneys can explain all of your options and provide the representation you need. Call 630-364-4046 for a free consultation.



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