Parents of children 18 years or older may still need to pay child support if the children are:
- 19 years or younger and still in high school
- Mentally or physically disabled
- Attending post-high school education
A parent receiving support can petition for educational expenses from the paying parent if:
- They are divorced; or
- The parent was never married to the other parent.
Who pays for educational expenses?
In Illinois, either parent or the child may be ordered to pay for educational expenses. In deciding support, the judge looks at such factors as:
- The financial resources of both parents
- The standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the parents not divorced
- The financial resources of the child
- The child's academic performance
Does the court have to order educational expenses to be paid?
No. It is up to the judge. An order awarding educational expenses will depend on the facts of the case and will also depend on whether you can prove your case to the judge.
You will need to prove the following:
- The expenses you want to be paid
- Your financial situation
- That the other parent has sufficient money to help pay for the child's educational expenses
Educational expenses include:
- Registration and application costs
- Medical expenses including medical insurance
- Dental expenses
- Living expenses during the school year and periods of recess
This is not a complete list of educational expenses.
Is there a limit on the expenses to be paid?
There is a cap on certain expenses. The cap applies to tuition, fees, room, and board. A parent will not be ordered to pay for educational expenses over this cap.
The dollar amount of this cap is the cost for an in-state student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for the same academic year.
How long will the support continue?
A parent's obligation to pay educational expenses ends if:
- The student fails to maintain a "C" grade point average;
- The student turns 23;
- The student gets a degree; or
- The student marries.
A judge could also end the support if the student does not provide the paying parent access to their academic record.
Both the child and the parents may be required to provide information on their finances. On request of one of the parents, or by the judge's order, each parent may have to provide Financial Disclosure Statement. These documents cover each parent's income, assets, and expenses. Each parent would need to file it with the circuit clerk and send a copy to the other parent.
Updated: August 2017