Who Pays for College After a Divorce?

Helping Your Child Cover Educational Costs

In the state of Illinois, only divorced parents can be ordered to contribute toward their child’s college expenses. Eligible expenses generally include:

  • Tuition;
  • Room and board;
  • Books;
  • Fees; and
  • Transportation costs.

When deemed appropriate, the court determines how much each parent will pay based on each party’s income, the resources of the child, and the child’s academic performance.

As the cost of a college education continues to rise, students may struggle to find ways to finance their schooling. Many parents are inclined to help their children afford college, but, according to Illinois law, only divorced parents can be required to do so. At Goostree Law Group, we realize that the law may seem a bit unfair to divorced parents, but it is important to realize that the student cannot ask the court for such an order. The request must be made by a parent. As such, paying for college is considered more of a financial matter related to the divorce than an obligation to the child.

Factors to Consider

To determine if ordering support for college expenses is appropriate, the court must take into account:

  • The income and resources of each parent, including retirement savings;
  • The income and resources of the child;
  • The standard of living the child would have enjoyed if the parents had not divorced; and
  • The child’s academic performance.

In order for the ordered assistance to continue, the child must maintain at least a C average. If the child earns a bachelor’s degree, gets married, or turns 23 (25 in certain cases), a parent’s obligation to provide support will be terminated.

If you have questions about paying for your child’s college expenses, contact our office. One of our experienced family law attorneys will meet with you to discuss your case and your available options. Call 630-584-4800 today to schedule your free consultation at Goostree Law Group. We are proud to serve clients in St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, Aurora, and throughout Kane County.

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Goostree Law Group

Goostree Law Group

 555 S. Randall Road, Suite 200
St. Charles, IL 60174


 1770 Park Street, Suite 205
Naperville IL 60563


 400 S. County Farm Road, Suite 300
Wheaton, IL 60187


Our Illinois divorce attorneys represent clients in Kane County, DuPage County, Kendall County and DeKalb County, including Geneva, Batavia, St.Charles, Wayne, Wasco, Elburn, Virgil, Lily Lake, Aurora, North Aurora, Elgin, South Elgin, Bartlett, Crystal Lake, Gilberts, Millcreek, Maple Park, Kaneville, LaFox, Yorkville, Oswego, Plano, Sugar Grove, Big Rock, Bristol, Newark, DeKalb, Sycamore, Naperville, Wheaton, West Chicago, Winfield, Warrenville, Downers Grove, Lombard, Oak Brook, Streamwood, Hoffman Estates, Barrington, South Barrington, Lake Barrington, Schaumburg, Big Grove, Boulder Hill, Bristol, Joliet, Kendall, Lisbon, Minooka, Montgomery, Plainfield, Sandwich, Yorkville and many other cities.

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