How Can Divorced Parents Plan for College Expenses?

 Posted on August 03, 2023 in Family Law

St. Charles Divorce LawyerGoing to college right after high school is one of the most popular paths young people take today. College is no longer something reserved for only the best academic performers, but rather, something most white-collar employers expect. It can be challenging for any family to cover the complete cost of a college education. Between tuition, textbooks, and room and board, sending your child to college without having them incur student loans can be a challenge. If you and your spouse are getting divorced while your child is still in grade school, you may wonder whether your spouse will still contribute to college expenses. Fortunately, in Illinois, courts can order both parents to contribute what they can towards your child’s educational expenses. In most cases, this can be done as a part of your divorce decree. If you are concerned about paying for college after a divorce, it is best to speak with an attorney to determine what options you and your child may have. 

Parental Responsibilities Do Not End on the Child’s 18th Birthday 

In decades past, an 18 year old who wished to move out and support themself may have had the option of entering the workforce directly after high school. Now, there are few jobs available to recent high school graduates that pay a living wage. Rather, most young people rely on their family to continue supporting them until they have graduated from college. While Illinois courts may expect a young adult to contribute to their own educational expenses to the extent that they have the resources to do so, courts also recognize that many young people cannot afford to go to college without help from their parents. 

In most cases, when the divorced parents are on relatively equal economic footing, courts require each parent to cover roughly half of their child’s remaining college expenses after any grants or college funds have been applied. Courts also recognize that tuition is not the only expense. Rather, books, lodging, transportation, health care, and meal plans are all considered part of a child’s college costs. 

When Does Educational Support End?

In most cases, college expense support continues until the child has obtained their four-year degree. However, the child’s age matters as well. Support generally continues until the child has turned 23 years old, but may be extended until the child is 25 years old if there is a good reason. 

Contact a Kane County Family Law Attorney

Goostree Law Group is committed to helping divorcing parents plan for their child’s college expenses. Our caring St. Charles family law lawyers will strive to help you set your child up for success as an adult. For a complimentary consultation, please contact us at 630-584-4800




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