Kane County Family Law AttorneyFor many young people, May is a month filled with graduation parties, ceremonies, and making plans for the future. If you are a parent of a high school or college-aged child, it is important to understand how Illinois law handles college expenses when parents are divorced. Illinois is unique in that divorced parents are sometimes legally required to contribute to their child’s college education. Read on to learn more.

Splitting the Cost of Tuition, Books, Fees, Housing, and Other College Costs

Child support obligations typically end once a child becomes an adult. However, in Illinois, a parent may still be required to provide financial assistance to a college-aged child. Illinois courts have the authority to allocate college expenses between two divorced parents. College expenses include the cost of tuition, fees, textbook rental, supplies, housing, and food. The court considers both parents’ financial circumstances when determining how to split college expenses between them. The college student’s own financial resources, including money from scholarships or work-study programs, may also be considered. Sometimes, the student is also required to contribute to college expenses.

The Amount a Parent May Be Required to Pay is Limited

The amount a parent may be required to pay is capped by Illinois law. A parent cannot be required to contribute more than what it would cost for the child to attend the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Tuition and fees are currently estimated at $17,572-$22,836 for the 2023-2024 school year at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. However, keep in mind that this figure does not include housing, supplies, textbooks, and related expenses.

If a student wants to attend a college that costs more than the University of Illinois, such as a private school or out-of-state school, he or she will be responsible for covering the additional cost. The student may need to take out student loans, get a part-time job, or use other financial resources.

The Child Must Maintain a “C” Average

A parent’s financial obligation usually terminates if the child does not maintain a “C” grade point average. Parents are relieved of their obligation when the child turns 23 years old, graduates with a bachelor’s degree, or gets married.

Contact our Kane County Child Support Lawyers for Help

If you and your child’s other parent disagree regarding how college expenses should be handled, our Kane County family law attorneys can help. Call us today at [[phone]] and set up a free initial consultation to learn more.