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Schaumburg divorce lawyer college expensesDivorced parents rightly assume that their obligation to pay child support ends when the child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school. Financially supporting a child until he/she is legally able to engage in full time employment makes sense from a practical and legal perspective; however, many children go on to attend college and obtain a degree, causing them to incur the sky-high cost of a college education in America.

Unless a child receives a full scholarship that covers tuition, room, board, books and other expenses, the financial assistance of their parents is often necessary to help pay for their college education. Paying for college is a struggle for many parents, and divorced parents face the added pressure of juggling this cost while maintaining separate households. 

While educational expenses for primary-level instruction are included in child support formulas, college expenses are not. If a parent wants to ensure that the other party helps cover the costs of a child’s college education, they will need to file a petition requesting contribution toward college expenses. 

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Palatine divorce attorney, educational support orders, college expensesAs children grow, their financial needs tend to increase. College tuition is no exception. In today’s world, student loan debts are staggering for new graduates, and many families struggle to financially help their children to go to college. When parents are divorced, the situation can be even trickier, especially when parents do not see eye to eye on the subject.

However, recent revisions to Illinois law have clarified the guidelines for educational support orders, allowing parents to better understand their future potential obligations.

Limits on Payment of College Expenses

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child support orders, college expenses, college expenses and divorce, educational expenses, Nicholas W. Richardson, Palatine child support attorneyMost parents hope that their children attend college or vocational school after high school graduation, and many want to help their children pay expenses associated with earning that higher education. But with 57.4 percent of all Illinois high school graduates going directly to college, are parents required to pay for their child’s college education? Or does their child support duty end when the child turns 18?

Support for Non-Minor Child’s Educational Expenses in Illinois

In most Illinois child support orders, the obligor parent (the one ordered to pay support) is no longer required to make payments once his or her child graduates from high school or turns 19. However, in some instances, the Court can order child support payments to be paid toward a child’s educational expenses, including college or other professional training.

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