What Happens with My Child's College Expenses After My Divorce?

Going through a divorce can be costly, and one expense that can further put a dent in your bank account is the addition of your child’s college expenses. In Illinois, the judge of your court case has the ability to order one or both parents to pay for the college expenses of their children. Therefore, if you find yourself in this situation when going through a divorce, you and the other parent should try to best determine who will pay for various expenses, with the help of a lawyer in family court. A family law attorney can assist with these issues while explaining your rights and obligations.

Illinois College Expense Choices

In Illinois, there is no law in place that decides which parent should be in charge of paying for certain college expenses. Ultimately, the decision is up to the family court judge. Moreover, when it comes time for the judge to make his or her choice, he or she must consider multiple factors with regard to awarding parental schooling expenses.

Questions that a judge may ask the parents during their court case include the following:

  • What is the total amount of each parent's financial resources?
  • Do either of the parents have additional financial resources available to the child—i.e. educational accounts, student financial aid, trusts, school scholarships, savings accounts, etc.?
  • How would the child’s college expenses be paid had the marriage not dissolved?
  • What is the child’s academic performance?
  • Can the parents afford private school education or public school education? This is important to remember because the court does not award college expenses beyond a parent's financial means.

College Expense Allocation Modifications

A college expense award is considered a type of child support payment in the state of Illinois. These payments are also enforceable under the law, along with being modifiable. Therefore, if a parent changes his or her job, or his or her income amount changes, an existing college expense agreement can be rediscussed in court for both parents.

Speak with a Skilled Family Law Lawyer Today

If you are going through a divorce and would like to speak with a skilled attorney who can handle post-decree modifications, including college expense agreements, please contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney at Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC. Do not hesitate to call us at (630) 793-6337 to schedule your confidential consultation today. We look forward to speaking with you.


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