Are Both Parents Responsible For College Expenses?

When people get divorced in Illinois, they are often surprised to discover the law requires both parents to contribute to their child’s college expenses. This obligation is covered in Section 513 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. However, married parents are not required to provide for their children’s college education.

This is a crucial point to remember if you are considering divorce. If you have questions about divorce and college expense obligations, talk to our Skokie child support attorneys today.

Who Is Covered In Section 513?

The statute applies to children of divorced parents who are over 18. Also, children who are adults who would not usually receive child support or medical expenses could qualify for support if they cannot care for themselves or have special needs. The law states that both parents can be required to pay for undergraduate college and living expenses when the child is in school, capped at the in-state tuition for the University of Illinois.

Further, the law states that both parents and the child must pay for the child’s educational expenses after secondary school. Also, neither parent is required to pay for educational costs after the child’s 23rd birthday. However, the family court can modify this rule and push the deadline to pay for college expenses to age 25.

How Do Courts Decide How Much Parents Should Pay For College?

The family court will consider each parent’s income, assets, and assets that the child holds to decide how much each parent should pay for college costs. The family court also may consider the income and assets of new spouses.

When deciding the fair amount each parent should pay for the child’s college expenses, the court will look at the financial resources of each parent. It also will look at the property and money the parent has access to, including what is available through the new spouse.

The court will not force the new spouse to cover education expenses for the child. Instead, the court can consider the effect of the new spouse’s assets and income on lowering the expenses of the parent, who must pay for college expenses. This is addressed when the parent lowers their income when they marry a wealthier person. In this situation, the new spouse may cover their living expenses but cannot pay for college.

Some college expenses that divorced parents may need include tuition and fees, housing costs, medical costs, and dental insurance. Parents also may be required to pay for five college applications, two college entrance exams, and an exam prep course.

Contact Our Skokie Child Support Attorneys Now

Many parents do not know after a divorce in Illinois that they must cover their child’s college expenses. Our Skokie child support attorneys can help you address concerns in this area.

We are pleased to represent clients in Evanston, Des Plaines, Park Ridge, Mount Prospect, Elk Grove Village, Glenview, Niles, Prospect Heights, Northbrook, Wheeling, Winnetka, Arlington Heights, Riverside, Rosemont, Glencoe, Morton Grove, Rolling Meadows, and Wilmette. Please contact Gordon & Perlut, LLC at (312) 360-0250 for questions about college expense obligations after divorce.