Reeder & Brown, P.C.


Can a Parent Be Ordered to Pay College Tuition as Part of Child Support?

 Posted on October 11,2021 in Divorce

IL family lawyerDivorced parents in Illinois often feel relief at the prospect of seeing child support payments end when their child turns 18 or graduates from high school. Of course, this does not signal the end of the parent’s support for the child but instead marks the end of one parent making payments to another parent on behalf of the child.

But divorced parents should be aware that certain circumstances exist wherein they may be ordered to financially support their child even after the age of 18. A court order to assist a child with college expenses is one such case. Understanding how Illinois law works in this regard is important for ensuring you meet your legal obligations.

When Can Parents Be Ordered to Pay College Expenses for an Adult Child?

Interestingly, Illinois courts do not have the authority to require married parents to pay for their child’s college expenses. But if the parents are divorced or were never married, the courts do have this authority. This kind of child support is called “non-minor support.”

Non-minor support orders for educational expenses include college tuition as well as the cost of application fees, books, registration, room and board, and other living expenses. Parents can also be required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) so their child has access to the parent’s financial information to apply for financial aid.

Parents can also be ordered to pay for trade school, vocational school, and other types of professional training.

Are There Limits to Which College Expenses Parents Can Be Ordered to Pay?

Illinois courts base a parent’s tuition obligation on the cost of in-state tuition at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. Even if the child chooses to go to school somewhere else, the parent’s obligation to pay tuition and fees will not cost more than the UICU. Similar limits exist for room and board.

Courts can also require students to contribute to the cost of their own education. As long as parents are required to pay for an adult child’s education, the child is required to maintain a “C” grade point average, and parents are entitled to access to their child’s academic records. Once the child turns 23 years old, gets married, or earns an undergraduate degree, the parent’s obligation ends.

Meet with a Joliet Adult Child Support Lawyer

If you are a divorced parent with questions about paying college tuition for your adult child, speak with an experienced Will County child support attorney with Reeder & Brown, P.C.. We can help you understand your obligations under Illinois law. Call us today at 815-885-5980 to set up your free initial consultation.



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