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How Are College Costs Split Between Divorced Parents in Illinois?

Posted on January 21, 2022 in Child Support

IL divorce lawyerThe cost of attending college or university has skyrocketed in the last few decades. It is more expensive than ever to attend a two- or four-year college program. If you are a parent who is in the process of divorcing or already divorced, you may wonder how you and your ex will cover this cost. Will you split college tuition and housing costs 50/50? What if the other parent refuses to contribute to your child’s college education?

Illinois Law Regarding College Expenses for Divorced Parents

Illinois is unique in the fact that the state can require divorced parents to contribute to their child’s college education. Many parents are surprised to learn that mandatory financial support may continue even after the child has turned 18 and graduated high school.

Unlike child support payments, which are calculated using a specific formula that uses both parents’ net incomes, the amount a parent may be required to contribute to college expenses varies. Illinois courts have discretion to determine how much each parent pays. If the parents cannot agree on how to cover college costs, the court will divide costs between the parents. Sometimes, the child himself or herself is also expected to contribute to his or her college education.

Factors courts consider when dividing college costs include:

  • Each parent’s present and future employability, income, and financial needs
  • The standard of living the child would experience if the parents were still together
  • The child’s own financial resources including money from work-study programs and scholarships
  • The child’s academic performance

Parents may be required to contribute not only to the cost of tuition but also to housing, textbook rental, fees, medical insurance, and living expenses. The child must maintain at least a “C” average for the required financial support to continue.

Contact a Naperville Family Law Attorney

In Illinois, divorced parents can be required to contribute to their child’s education through the court. If parents cannot agree on how to divide the cost of tuition, books, housing, and other educational costs, the court may step in and decide for them.

If you are a divorced parent and you have further questions or concerns about how college expenses will be divided between you and your ex, contact the Will County family law attorneys at the Law Office of Ronald L. Hendrix, P.C. Our team can help you understand how Illinois law is applied to your specific situation and ensure your rights are protected. Call us today at 630-355-7776 to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.


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