Who Pays for a Child's College Expenses in an Illinois Divorce?
In Illinois, the court can require divorcing parents to pay for their children's post-secondary education. Family lawyers can help you decide how much you need to pay and how to divide those responsibilities during a divorce. The following is a brief overview of the statute that covers this area of Illinois family law.
#1. There Is an Age Limit for College Provisions
Section 513 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/513) has set strict terms and conditions for college expenses. The provisions include the cost of five college applications, a minimum of two college entrance exam fees, and payouts for educational books and resources.
This includes post-secondary education costs for trade school and vocational school. The court does take both parents' financial status and future resources while dividing the college expenses equitably. Do you have to pay for college until graduation? Not necessarily.
One of the clauses in Section 513 states that parents and the non-minor child are responsible for paying for college expenses until they turn twenty-three years old. After that, the divorced parents are no longer obliged to cover post-secondary educational costs under this law.
#2. College Expenses May Include Housing Costs
Despite popular belief, college expenses do not end with tuition fees. Divorced parents must also consider housing expenses when sending their children to college.
Typically, college expenses include housing costs for on-campus or off-campus accommodations during the academic year.
There are specific terms and conditions of how much parents must pay for the accommodation. For instance, this provision does not cover expenses that exceed the standard costs of a “double-occupancy student room” at the University of Illinois.
Divorced parents may also have to pay for basic living expenses such as food, transportation, and utilities. They may also pay for medical expenses to support the child’s health and well-being.
The amount of provision each parent provides may vary depending on individual circumstances. As family law attorneys, we can help you understand how to divide provisions and responsibilities for college-going children after the split.
#4. Children Need to Maintain a Specific GPA to Qualify for Provisions
Aside from an age limit, a provision for college expenses can be terminated if the child does not perform well academically. According to Section 513, students will receive provisions as long as they maintain a “cumulative 'C' grade point average. Lower grades may make the non-minor child ineligible for receiving college expenses from divorced parents.
This rule does not apply to students who may fail to maintain a good grade point average because of an illness, traumatic accident, or other uncontrollable circumstances.
Moreover, college provisions are terminated when the student earns a baccalaureate degree or marries. In these situations, they may have to cover their post-secondary education costs independently unless parents are willing to share expenses.
Contact Kane County College Support Attorney Today
Who pays what for college expenses can require proper analysis of the assets and an extensive understanding of the family laws in Illinois. Do not hesitate to ask questions from our lawyers when needed. We can guide you from start to finish by helping you arrange the necessary paperwork and other legal matters. Contact the Kane County college support attorneys from Shaw Sander P.C. today by dialing 630-584-5550 to learn more.