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College Expense Contribution Cases Following Divorce Or In Parentage Cases

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College Expense Contribution

Children 18 years or older may still get support from either parent if they are:

  • 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

If the parents were never married, then parentage of the child must be established. For more information on parentage please read Establishing parentage (paternity).

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 a party can prove their case to the judge. If a party is going to do this on their own, they will need to prepare their case and be able to prove the following:

  • The expenses they want to be paid
  • The financial situation of the parent and child
  • That the other parent has sufficient money to help pay for the child’s educational expenses

Covered Educational Expenses:

  • Room
  • Board
  • Dues
  • Tuition
  • Transportation
  • Books
  • Fees
  • 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.

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