DuPage County College Expenses Attorneys
Lawyers for Post Divorce College Expenses Serving St. Charles, Downers Grove, Naperville, and Surrounding Areas
In Illinois, child support does not always end when the children turn 18. In some instances, both parents may be required to contribute to the college expenses of the child. Most divorce settlements are vague on this issue because post-secondary education is often several years away. For this reason, a post-decree modification may be necessary to compel a parent to make such contributions. Whichever side of this issue you are on, it is important to have experienced legal counsel in your corner to make sure your rights are protected.
For over 40 years, Mevorah Law Offices LLC has provided skilled divorce and family law representation to clients throughout the Chicago area. We have been highly recognized by our peers for not only our experience and skill, but also our honest, accessible, and down to earth approach. We have in-depth knowledge of even the most complex divorce issues as well as several other areas of the law, and our attorneys work closely with our clients to understand their unique needs and develop the most practical and effective solution. In cases when college expenses are a concern, we put our experience to work to guide our clients toward a positive resolution in keeping with their interests.
Child Support and College Expenses
Child support that extends beyond age 18 is often referred to as non-minor support. In Illinois, parents may be required to pay non-minor support for any of the following:
- College tuition;
- Room and board;
- Application and registration fees;
- Medical and dental expenses; and
- Other reasonable college costs.
Support contributions for college expenses can only be required until a child obtains a bachelor's degree or reaches the age of 23 (or 25, if good cause is shown). In addition, parents' obligations to pay for tuition, room, and board cannot exceed the costs that would be required to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for that same school year. Non-minor support may also be terminated in certain instances, such as when the child fails to maintain a "C" grade point average or gets married.
Court rulings in recent years have held that if college expense contributions are not explicitly written into the original decree, a post-decree petition must be filed for non-minor support. In addition, if some college expenses have already been incurred prior to filing the petition, the non-custodial parent is generally not required to make contributions for these expenses. For this reason, it is essential to settle this issue sooner rather than later if you have children approaching college age.
Notably, a decision in a 2018 DuPage County case found that the requirement for divorced or unmarried parents to contribute to children's college expenses is unconstitutional, because married parents do not have the same obligations. In addition, divorced or unmarried parents do not have the right to make decisions about whether to provide support based on the school their child chooses to attend or the course of study they decide to pursue. The case in question was appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court. An attorney can help determine whether this decision will affect any pending cases related to a parent's obligations to contribute to their children's college expenses.
The attorneys at Mevorah Law Offices LLC have handled numerous college expense cases in Illinois. We understand the intricacies of non-minor child support laws and how the courts have ruled in these cases. Our lawyers are experienced and approachable and we offer extended evening and weekend hours to fit your schedule. If you are in need of skilled guidance with non-minor support contribution issues, contact us today at 630-932-9100630-932-9100 for a free consultation.