If you are divorced or going through a divorce in Illinois, you might be surprised to discover that the law can compel both parents to fund their child’s college education. This strikes many as strange because there is no legal mechanism for a married parent to force their spouse to pay for college expenses, but that is what the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act states.

Learn more about this critical divorce topic below, and contact our divorce lawyer in Chicago Michael C. Craven today for legal assistance.

What Are Educational Expenses?

Because both spouses may have to pay for their child’s college education after divorce, it is essential to understand which educational expenses are covered by the law. Illinois law defines educational expenses to include housing, food, books, tuition and fees, supplies, health insurance, and medical costs, while the child is in college, which must be covered by both parents after divorce.

You and your ex-spouse also may have to cover expenses for vocational school, trade school, and other types of career training. The laws in Illinois also require parents to pay for five college applications, two college entrance examinations, and one college entrance exam prep class.

How Long Must You Pay For Education Expenses?

The laws of Illinois state that each spouse’s responsibility to pay college expenses only last through the child getting their bachelor’s degree. The court can set rules on each party’s required financial support including terminating the educational support if the child is not a full-time student or is receiving bad grades. You and the other parent’s responsibility to pay for college ends when they receive a bachelor’s degree, when the child turns 23, or they marry.

How Much Can Each Spouse Be Required To Pay?

The judge will review the financial matters for each parent to decide who will contribute how much for college education expenses. The judge may also mandate that the child provide money for their education.

College tuition differs for different schools, so the law says that each parent cannot be required to pay more than college expenses at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana each year. So, if the child wants to attend a pricier school and you and the other spouse do not want to pay more, they will need college loans or work to cover the extra expenses.

The Judge Will Review These Factors To Decide How Much Each Parent Must Pay For College Costs:

  • Each person’s present and future financial abilities.
  • The standard of living your child would have had if there had not been a divorce.
  • The financial resources of your child.
  • How the child performs academically.

The law states that each parent’s payment for the child’s education may be made directly to the school or child, but other financial arrangements can be needed. The law also lets you set up a trust or bank account to remove funds to cover college costs.

Speak To Our Divorce Lawyer In Chicago Today

If you are going through divorce in Illinois, you need an experienced divorce lawyer standing up for you. Contact Michael C. Craven to help solve issues related to paying for your child’s college education and other divorce-related matters, including child custody.

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