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Financing College After a Divorce

Posted on in Child Support

Arlington Heights divorce lawyer

While parents are always proud when their children go off to college, there is no ignoring the immense financial burden higher education can bring, for students and parents alike. Paying for college is not easy for most families, and it is further complicated for parents currently involved in the divorce process or already divorced.

Illinois is one of the few states where a judge can order a parent to pay tuition and other college expenses if a mutual decision cannot be made. This part of family law in Illinois is called post-high school educational expenses. 

Paying for College After Divorce

College expenses are treated like child support, but there are limitations. There is a cutoff of how long a parent is obligated to pay for college expenses for a non-minor child. When a child turns 23 years old, has received a bachelor’s degree, or gets married, a parent no longer can be ordered to support post-high school educational expenses. Your situation may be different, and these limitations can be extended. 

While child support is a financial payment that helps the well-being of a child, required contributions toward an adult child’s education are limited. Tuition and fees are some of the highest expenses a person attending college will face. A parent can be ordered to assist in the cost of tuition, as well as the following:

  • On- or off-campus housing;
  • Medical expenses;
  • Living expenses during and between school sessions; and
  • School supplies and books.

The amount required to be paid toward tuition and housing cannot exceed the cost for in-state fees compared to the University of Illinois-Champaign Urbana. 

Before a court will make a decision regarding college expenses, the parent who has parental responsibility for the child will fill out a FAFSA, or Free Application of Federal Student Aid form. This considers factors such as income in securing financial aid for your child, whether in grants or loans. 

Contact a Barrington Divorce Attorney

When trying to figure out how to pay for your child’s college education after a divorce, contact an experienced Rolling Meadows divorce attorney to make sure your child is adequately supported by both parents. Call our office at 847-995-9999 to set up an initial consultation today.




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