When parents get a divorce, under the law both parties will be expected to contribute toward the financial costs involved in raising their children, and child support will usually be ordered. These payments will usually last until a child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later. However, the parents may still have financial obligations after a child reaches legal adulthood – they may be required to pay non-minor support that will provide their children with financial assistance as they attend college and seek an education. To ensure that this issue is addressed correctly, divorcing parents will want to understand the types of non-minor support that may apply in their situation, the amount they will need to pay, and how long these payments will last.
Parents’ Contributions to Children’s College Expenses
Parents may agree on the amounts that they will each contribute toward the costs of their children’s college education, or a parent may petition the court to ask that the other parent be required to provide financial assistance. When determining an appropriate amount that a parent may be required to pay, the court will look at the income and financial resources of both parents, as well as the resources available to the child, such as college savings or scholarships.
Parents may be required to make contributions to expenses related to their child’s college education or other forms of professional or vocational training, and these expenses may include:
Tuition and any related fees;
Housing expenses, which may include on-campus room and board, or rent, utilities and other expenses for off-campus living arrangements;
Medical insurance and other expenses related to a child’s healthcare;
Other reasonable living expenses, including the costs of food, utilities and transportation for a child who will be living with one parent while attending college; and,
Books and other supplies that are required when attending college classes.
The child may be required to complete a “Free Application for Federal Student Aid” (FAFSA) and other types of financial aid forms in connection with the court process. The court may also require parents to pay for college applications at up to five schools, as well as for two college entrance examinations and one preparatory course for these types of exams. The maximum amount that parents may be required to contribute toward tuition, room and board in Illinois is the amount that the child would be required to pay when attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as an in-state student for that academic year.
Parents will usually be required to pay non-minor support until their child graduates from college and receives a bachelor’s degree. Non-minor support may be terminated if the child reaches the age of 23 without graduating, although it may be extended to until the child reaches the age of 25 if there is good cause to do so. Parents’ non-minor support obligations will also be terminated if the child gets married or does not maintain a cumulative grade point average equivalent to a C grade.
Contact Our Oak Park Non-Minor Support Attorney
If you have questions about how your children’s college expenses will be dealt with following your divorce, or if you need to address any other issues related to child support, the Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C. can advise you of all your legal rights and options. Contact our Hillside child support lawyer at 708-449-7404 to set up a no-charge initial consultation, and get highly-rated legal help with your divorce.