Illinois Matrimonial and Family Law: Post-Secondary Educational Expenses

Cari Rincker Child Support, Co-Parenting, Divorce Mediation, Family/Matrimonial Law, Illinois Divorce, New York City, Rincker Law services Leave a Comment

Did you know that students with divorced parents in Illinois may be entitled to court ordered assistance with educational expenses by both parents? If you’re former spouse isn’t paying their fair share, read on to learn more about getting your child the help they need.

How much support will a court order?

Illinois courts have significant discretion to set the contribution amounts of both parents based on several factors. These include:

  • Available financial resources of each parent, including their income and assets
  • Standard of living the student is accustomed to
  • Student’s own financial resources and academic performance
  • Cost of the educational program the student is enrolled or plans to enroll in.

Courts often award expenses divided evenly between each parent and the student, but that is not required. Courts can place a higher share of expenses on one parent, particularly when there is a large difference between the financial position of each parent.

What qualifies as educational expenses?

Educational expenses include necessary costs to apply for college, tuition, and necessary living expenses. In most cases, the costs that a court will award is limited to the cost of attendance for students living on-campus at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Technical post-secondary programs, like trade school, may also be covered.

Courts can require contributions for the costs of:

  • Up to 5 college applications
  • SAT, ACT, or other college entrance exams
  • A college entrance exam preparation program
  • Medical and dental insurance and expenses for student
  • Tuition
  • Books and other necessary supplies (a laptop, for example)
  • Reasonable living expenses (housing and food)

Are there any requirements for Students?

In most cases, students must be 23 years of age or younger. They must submit a FAFSA application for student aid. Except in rare circumstances, the student must be willing to disclose the university that they attend and consent for their parents to be able to access their academic records. Students must also maintain at least a ‘C’ average GPA, cannot already have a bachelor’s degree, and cannot be married. Students can continue to get assistance even if they become pregnant, incarcerated, or join the armed forces.

What are the next steps?

If you need help getting court-ordered assistance with educational expenses for your college student, contact Rincker Law today!

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