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What is a College Expense Under Illinois Law?

As of January 2016, Illinois family laws have changed. These updates include specifics on how divorced parents can assist their children in paying for college education.

"College expenses” can include the following:

  • The actual cost of tuition and additional fees
  • Housing expenses both on-campus or off-campus
  • Clothing, food, and transportation
  • Medical and dental insurance expenses
  • Textbooks, computers, and other supplies

These costs vary from college to college. Illinois law compares these expenses and costs to a student who attends the University of Illinois. If your child plans to attend a school that costs more than these average prices, you may not be required to assist in payment.

At Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC, we make sure that you are not paying longer than you have to for your child's education. Illinois law has determined this length of time. Once your child reaches his or her 23rd birthday, you are no longer obligated to continue payment. In some cases, however, if both parents agree, the expenses can be extended no further than the child's 25th birthday.

College education support can also be terminated earlier in a handful of different situations before the child is 23. For example, if the child cannot maintain a “C” average grade in their classes, support can be terminated. The only exception to that rule is if an illness or another cause prevented their student from maintaining good grades. Other examples include if the child has completed their Bachelor's degree or marries.

At MKFM Law, it is our mission to make these sensitive subjects easier and relieve you of any pressure that can be taking a toll. Our team of lawyers are are always here to help, so contact our office today. Call 630-665-7300 for a consultation. Our services range to DuPage County cities such as Wheaton, Naperville, Carol Stream, andDowners Grove, as well as to Kane County and Kendall County.

Can I Be Forced to Pay for My Child's Illinois College Expenses?

When a couple finalizes a divorce, most of the financial responsibilities and issues may be resolved. However, for individuals with children, it is drastically different. There may be crucial financial questions to contend with, such as: "Who will pay for the child's college education?"

To help determine how much, if any, parents can contribute to their child's college expenses, these factors are examined:

  • The financial resources of both of the divorced individuals
  • The standard of living the child would have been allowed if the parent's marriage had not concluded
  • The child's academic performance prior and during the divorce to determine if they are able to attend college

Financial aid is another factor the courts will consider in the process. In most instances, the custodial parent will fill out a FAFSA to determine if their child qualifies for financial aid. If the child has offers for scholarships, loans, or financial aid, the court could rule the child take those offers to help reduce the cost for both parents in paying for college.

Every state has different factors that play into whether or not you will be required to pay for your child's education if they want to attend a private school. In certain scenarios, if a public college or university offers the same benefits and courses, your child may have to attend the latter in order to receive financial assistance from you.

At Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC, our goal is to help make a process like this easier to grasp regarding your child's college education. Contact us today and we will make sure you will not be paying more than you can afford. We will also help determine if your ex-husband or ex-wife is contributing what he or she should too. Call us at 630-665-7300 to set up an initial consultation. We serve in Kane, Kendall, and DuPage Counties including the cities of Wheaton, Carol Stream, Downers Grove, and Naperville.

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1737 South Naperville Road, Suite 100
Wheaton, IL 60189
Evening and weekend hours by appointment.

We serve clients throughout Kane County, Illinois including St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, North Aurora, Elgin, Algonquin, Aurora, Barrington Hills, Bartlett, Big Rock, Burlington, Campton Hills, Carpentersville, East Dundee, Elburn, Hampshire, Huntley, Kaneville, Maple Park, Sleepy Hollow, Wayne, West Dundee as well as throughout DuPage County.

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