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What Divorced Parents of College-Aged Children Need to Understand About College Expenses in 2022

Posted on in Family Law

Kane County Parental Responsiblities LawyerFor any parent, the prospect of paying for college can be daunting. College tuition is becoming more and more expensive each year. Unmarried and divorced parents may be understandably even more concerned about how to finance their child’s higher education. Paying for tuition, housing, books, and other educational fees can be even harder to manage in a one-income household.

The average annual cost of attending an in-state public university is just over $25,000 in 2022. For a private university, that number more than doubles. If you are unmarried or divorced and you have kids, it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities regarding your child’s college expenses.

How Are College Expenses Divided If Parents are Divorced or Unmarried?

Most married parents work together to figure out how to pay for college tuition and related expenses. However, if parents were never married or have divorced, they may be confused about which parent is responsible for paying college expenses. Illinois is unique in that the law can require unmarried or divorced parents to contribute to their child’s higher education.

There is no set method or formula for dividing college expenses between divorced or unmarried parents. Illinois courts handle the situation on a case-by-case basis. However, the amount that a parent may be required to pay is limited. Fortunately, if your child wants to attend a private, out-of-state school that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, you will not be forced to foot the bill. The amount that a parent may be required to contribute cannot exceed the in-state cost of attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Tuition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for the 2021-2022 academic year is approximately $15,000 for students living in Illinois. However, parents may be required to contribute to fees, books, housing, health insurance, and living expenses in addition to tuition.

Illinois courts consider both parents’ financial situations when making a decision about how to divide college expenses. The student’s own financial resources, including scholarships and grants, may also be considered. Sometimes, courts divide expenses equally between the parents and the student, with each party paying one-third of the total cost.

Contact a Kane County Family Law Attorney for Help

Divorced parents in Illinois may be required to contribute to their child’s college education. If you have questions or concerns about how college expenses will be divided between you and your child’s other parent, contact Goostree Law Group for help. Our St. Charles divorce lawyers are here to help you understand all of your options under Illinois law and advocate fiercely on your behalf. Call 630-584-4800 for a free consultation.



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