Is the Non-Custodial Parent Responsible for College Expenses in Illinois?

Generally speaking, child support in Illinois ends when a child whose parents are divorced turns eighteen years old. However, there are exceptions to this general rule, and one of the most common questions asked of our experienced family law attorneys is whether a non-custodial parent is responsible for paying college expenses in Illinois? At Gordon & Perlut, LLC our knowledgeable Skokie child support lawyers are here to help answer this and any other questions that you may have about child support payments. To learn more, call or contact our office today to schedule a consultation of your case.

Illinois Law

Under the Illinois Domestic Relations Act, the court has the discretion to order the parents of a child to pay the educational expenses of a child until they turn twenty-three years old or obtain a bachelor’s degree, whichever comes first. In certain situations, the court may extend it to twenty-five years old, but a parent is not expected to pay for the educational expenses of an advanced postsecondary degree such as a master’s degree or doctorate.

The maximum amount that parents can be expected to contribute is the amount that it would cost to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that academic year, regardless of whether the child is attending public or private, in-state or out-of-state school.

What Expenses are Included?

Expenses included in non-minor educational support cover a wide range of costs that a child might incur while in school. These include, but are not limited to, the following expenses:

  • Tuition
  • Room and board
  • Books
  • Registration
  • Application fees
  • Other expenses

These expenses might also include coverage of daily living expenses for the child, such as health care coverage, transportation costs, medical and dental expenses, and other costs incurred while at school.

How are Expenses Divided?

In many cases, the college expenses are divided between the parents per their parenting or divorce agreement if it was agreed to prior to the child entering college. However, the court also has the discretion to divide college expenses differently if there has been a significant change in circumstances since the non-custodial parent stopped paying child support, or if there never was an agreement.

Factors that the court may consider include each parent’s current and future financial resources, the child’s financial resources, the child’s academic performance, and the child’s standard of living. In some cases, the court has ordered the child to also contribute to their educational expenses, splitting them with their parents to offset some of the cost. To learn more, call or contact our office today.

Call Our Skokie Child Support Attorneys

Do you have more questions about how much a non-custodial parent is expected to contribute to the college expenses of their child? At Gordon & Perlut, our talented and knowledgeable Skokie child support attorneys are here to help you navigate this and any other legal issues that may arise regarding child support payments. To schedule your appointment with one of our skilled lawyers, call the office or contact us today. Consultations are always free.