As 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.
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 Naperville 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.