A common frustration for many divorced parents in Illinois is the unavoidable fact that they can be ordered by an Illinois family law judge to pay child support for their adult child’s college expenses. While some parents are happy to support their children while they attend college, other parents might disagree with their child’s choice of major, the rising expense of college, or the idea of college as necessary in the first place. Other parents may be justifiably concerned that an ex is encouraging an adult child to attend university against the child’s wishes because they want to get under the other parent’s skin.
If you are divorced in Illinois and have questions about adult children and child support for educational expenses, read on and then contact a Kane County child support attorney who can help.
How Much Can I Be Required to Pay For My Child’s College?
The cost that parents can be required to pay for their child’s education is equivalent to the cost of in-state tuition, room and board, and books and supplies at the University of Illinois at Champagne-Urbana. The estimated cost of tuition for the 2022-23 academic year is between $17,138 and $22,324, while room and board come in at $12,720 and books and supplies are estimated to cost about $1,200.
There is no statutory formula for determining adult child support payments in Illinois, but parents can be ordered to pay all or part of the cost or to split the cost with the child. A judge will consider each parent’s resources and retirement prospects, any money the child has plus the child’s earning capabilities, and whether it is reasonable for the child to take out student loans to fund part of their education.
What if My Child Chooses a Major I Do Not Approve Of?
While a parent can argue that a child’s choice of major will require extensive payments on the part of parents with little financial benefit to the child at the end of the degree, the child’s choice of major will likely not impact a judge’s decision to order parents to contribute to college expenses. However, a child’s grades can impact a parent’s obligation; if the child does not maintain a “C” grade point average, the parent’s obligation may be terminated. Other situations, such as the child turning 23, getting married, or dropping out of school, can also terminate adult child support....