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DuPage County Divorce Lawyer for College Expenses

Cook County child support lawyer for college expenses

Attorney for Educational Expenses and Support of Adult Children in Wheaton and Warrenville

Any parents who get divorced while their child is under the age of 18 will be subject to the terms of a child support order that ensures each parent's financial contribution to providing for the child's basic needs. While this support order typically terminates when the child turns 18, there are many cases in which the court will order divorced parents to continue contributing to their child's college or educational expenses after the child has reached adulthood. Along with all of the other financial implications of a divorce, the need to pay for college expenses can often be a point of contention.

If you are looking for a lawyer who can guide you through this somewhat unusual aspect of the divorce process, Attorney Jessica Sendek has the experience you need. She has helped her clients resolve a wide variety of divorce and family law matters throughout a legal career of more than 10 years. She will give you and your case personal attention to ensure that she understands your needs and those of your children, and she will work diligently to help you achieve them.

When Are Illinois Parents Required to Pay for College Expenses?

Not every divorce involving children will require a determination regarding how the parents will assist with the costs of continuing education after high school. Some children choose to pursue a path other than college or post-secondary education, and some parents are unable to pay for college expenses because of their limited financial resources. However, the court will generally try to reach a resolution in which a child of divorce is able to benefit from the same support that would have been available had the parents remained married. If the child and parents hold higher education as an important goal, and the parents are able to contribute, the court will often order an arrangement in which both parents, and possibly the child, are expected to provide for an equitable share of the costs.

When establishing the terms of the arrangement, the court will consider the financial resources and needs of both parents, as well as the financial resources of the child. This means that if the child has other means of paying for college, including scholarships, grants, loans, educational savings accounts, and contributions from other relatives, the parents will likely not be responsible for the full cost of education. Additionally, for a child to be eligible for support through such a court order, all of the following must be true:

  • The child must be under the age of 23 in most cases, though special circumstances may extend eligibility until the child reaches the age of 25.
  • The child must have not yet earned a bachelor's degree.
  • The child must remain unmarried.
  • The child must maintain a cumulative grade point average at the "C" level or better.

What Qualifies as an Educational Expense?

According to Illinois law, educational expenses for a non-minor child include a variety of costs directly and indirectly related to the child's pursuit of college, university, vocational, or professional education or training. Qualifying expenses include:

  • Tuition, fees, and room and board. The maximum amount ordered for these expenses is based on the current cost of in-state tuition and fees and on-campus housing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Fees for applications and standardized entrance exams, as well as the cost of an entrance exam prep course.
  • Medical, dental, and living expenses while the child is in school.
  • Books and supplies used in the child's coursework or training.

Contact a Wheaton Family Law Attorney for College Expenses

Ensuring that your child has the opportunity to go to college may be one of your top priorities during your divorce. If you have questions or concerns about how you can do so, contact us today for a free consultation at 630-358-9029. We serve parents and families in Naperville, Wheaton, Warrenville, Winfield, Glen Ellyn, West Chicago, Lombard, and throughout DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, and Cook County.

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