IL family lawyerCollege is notorious for being exorbitantly expensive; even if a child attends an in-state school, they could be paying tens of thousands of dollars a year to earn a degree in a field that may or may not have good prospects for future financial success.

Many parents, especially those who are divorced and who do not share values and priorities, are torn over whether the cost of sending a child to college is ultimately worth it. While parents who are still married cannot be compelled to pay for an adult child’s college education, many parents who are divorced may be surprised to learn than they can be. If you have a child approaching college age and you are wondering about your child support obligations regarding their university tuition, read on and then contact an Illinois adult child support attorney for advice in your specific case.

Parents Can be Ordered to Pay for a Child’s College Degree in Illinois

One of the priorities of Illinois family law is to reduce, as much as possible, the impact of divorce on the children of divorced parents. One way that the law does this is by considering what the life quality of the child would have been if the parents had stayed married. This is fundamentally the justification for the law allowing divorced parents to be required to contribute to an adult child’s education.

However, judges do not want to impoverish parents who otherwise could not afford to help their children attend school. Before ordering a parent to help an adult child pay for their education, a judge will look at both each parent’s child’s ability to pay for college, including both parents’ current income, savings, and retirement plans, and whether the child has any financial resources of their own.

There are also expectations placed on a child who is receiving court-ordered support payments for college. The child must maintain a C average and the parents are entitled to receive information about the child’s academic performance. If the child gets too old (either 23 or 25, depending on the circumstances), gets married, or earns a first bachelor’s degree, the support payments will be terminated. Furthermore, there are limits placed on the amount parents can be asked to contribute; the annual cost of in-state tuition, room, and board at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana campus is used as the upper limit.

While it can be frustrating to deal with, a parent who is philosophically opposed to helping their child pay for college may still be ordered to make payments. If a court orders you to contribute to your child’s college expenses, it is important to comply. You could face court sanctions, such as contempt of court, fines, and even jail time, for failing to make child support payments for any reason.

Call a Kane County, IL Adult Child Support Lawyer

Whether you are hoping to petition your child’s other parent to help you support your child in college or have recently been approached with a request to support your child, make sure your rights and interests are protected with the help of a St. Charles, IL adult child support attorney with [[title]]. Our job is to ensure the law is applied fairly in your case so you can focus on your relationship with your child and make sure you are as financially secure as possible. Call us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation at [[phone]].