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Can I Ask My Ex-Spouse to Pay for My Children’s College?

Illinois Family Law Attorneys for College Expenses in Divorce and Paternity Cases

Under Illinois law, a court may order one or both parents to contribute toward the college expenses of the couple’s children. These expenses include:

  • Tuition costs;
  • Room and board;
  • Books and supplies;
  • School fees; and
  • Transportation.

Each parent may also be required to complete financial aid forms, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

A family court in Illinois has the authority to require either or both parents to help pay for their child’s college education. Before doing so, the court must take into account each parent’s financial resources and needs, the child’s resources and needs, and the child’s academic performance. The eligibility of the child and parents for financial aid may also factor into the court’s decision. Illinois law limits the amount of tuition, fees, room and board to the amount an in-state student would pay at the University of Illinois at Champaign - Urbana.

Family Lawyers Helping Parents Protect Their Rights

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides that paying for college, in most cases, is handled as a financial consideration of a divorce rather than a right belonging to the child. This means that the request for help with college expenses must be made by one of the parents. It also means that if the issue of paying the child’s college was addressed in the divorce judgment, the matter may be effectively closed.

An experienced family law attorney at Anderson & Associates, P.C. can help you understand your rights and responsibilities regarding your child’s college expenses. We will review your divorce settlement, along with your relevant circumstances, to help you determine your options for moving forward. Call 847-995-9999 for a free initial consultation at any of our four convenient office locations.

Chicago Bar Association DuPage Association of Woman Lawyers Illinois State Bar Association DuPage County Bar Association Northwest Suburban Bar Association
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