Non-Minor Support: Can I Be Required to Pay for My Child's College Education?

 Posted on April 01, 2015 in Family Law

Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, divorce laws, Illinois child support lawyer,Going to college after completing high school is more than just a popular choice for many young adults in the United States: it has become an expectation. As a parent, you naturally want to help your child in any way possible. But wanting to help your child is not the same as being legally required to help him or her. As your son or daughter reaches adulthood, you might be wondering whether you are required to pay for his or her college education as part of your child support obligation.

There is no clear legal answer to this. In Illinois, there is no law that specifically states that a parent must pay for college expenses as part of his or her child support agreement. However, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act includes language that gives a judge the right to order that an individual parent contribute to his or her child's college costs. This section of the law also gives judges the power to determine how much a parent must pay. This is known as non-minor support.

If you have been ordered to make non-minor support payments for your adult child or your child will become an adult in the near future and you want to understand how non-minor support works, contact an experienced child support attorney to discuss your concerns and get a professional opinion about how the law may be applied to your individual situation.

Determining Non-Minor Support for College Expenses

Although a judge may determine whether or not a parent must financially contribute to his or her child's college expenses, the judge is bound to consider the following factors when making this decision:

  • The child's academic record. The young man or woman must prove that he or she takes his or her education seriously and will succeed in college, rather than wasting the parent's money;

  • Both parents' income, debts, and other financial considerations;

  • Any scholarships or grants the young adult has received or may receive toward his or her college education and the impact these may have on his or her total college bill; and

  • The standard of living the child enjoyed before his or her parents divorced and whether or not the divorce has a significant impact on the child's financial resources.

A judge may also make stipulations for the student to meet to be able to receive financial assistance from the paying parent. These stipulations may include requiring the student to work while he or she attends school, requiring him or her to maintain a certain grade point average, or requiring that he or she choose a state or community college to keep costs low.

Experienced Family Attorneys in Kane County

Our skilled Kane County family law attorneys proudly serve Illinois families dealing with myriad legal issues. As a parent currently making child support payments, it can be frustrating to try to determine what you are obligated to pay as your child moves toward adulthood. Contact our firm today to discuss your current situation with one of our firm's experienced family attorneys during your initial legal consultation. Know your rights as a parent and do not allow yourself to be manipulated into paying something that you are not required to pay for. We can help you determine exactly what your financial obligations to your adult child are.
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