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Chicago Attorney for College Expenses

Oak Park Non-Minor Support for College Costs Lawyer

Educational Costs Lawyer in Cook County

There is little question that a good education can create a whole host of opportunities for a young person in today's world. If you are a parent, you want the best for your children, including the chance for them to continue their education after completing high school. A trade certification or a college degree can dramatically increase your child's chances of success, but the costs associated with obtaining a post-high school education have risen to almost unfathomable levels. College-related expenses can place a heavy burden on any family, but for a family that has been fractured by divorce, the situation is often even more difficult.

If you are the divorced parent of a student that is or will soon be attending college or a trade school, the team at The Law Offices of Curtis Bennett Ross, LLC may be able to help you meet your child's needs. According to Illinois law, divorced parents can be ordered to contribute to their child's post-high school education expenses if the court deems such contributions to be necessary.

Bucktown Counsel for Non-Minor Support Cases

Attorney Curtis Bennett Ross has more than 30 years of experience in matters of family law, and he has handled many cases involving non-minor support for college expenses. In addition, he is an active member of the Illinois State Bar Association Family Law Section Council, so he has a complete understanding of how the law applies in such cases.

According to Illinois law, the issue of non-minor support for college expenses is considered a financial matter that is relevant to a divorce. Specifically, it is a matter that is between the parents. While the support would ultimately help the child attend school, the law does not give the child the legal standing to request such support. If you have decided to help your child pay for college, however, you can ask the court to order your former spouse to help as well.

College Expenses for Divorced Parents in Illinois

In most cases, a child support order in Illinois will end when the child in question turns 18 years old or graduates from high school, whichever is later. What happens after that may have been settled in your divorce agreement. For example, you and your spouse might have agreed that you would share your child's college expenses, or you may have determined that neither of you would take on that responsibility. If you and your spouse decided that you would not or could not help your children with their educational expenses, the court will likely enforce that agreement. However, if your settlement says that you will share those expenses or it does not address the issue at all, the court will likely need to intervene if you cannot reach a post-divorce agreement with your ex.

To determine whether or not to order non-minor support for educational expenses, the court must consider many different factors in addition to the language in your divorce judgment. The court will also consider the income, resources, and needs of both parents, including any savings you have for retirement. The resources available to your child will also be taken into account, including funds in a 529 account, available scholarships, and more. Finally, the court will look at your child's academic performance. From a practical standpoint, the court is more likely to order you and your spouse to help pay for your child's education if your child has a strong academic record.

If the court finds that it is appropriate to order support, it will then determine how much each parent should pay. The court can order payments to be made to the child, to either parent, to the school, or into a specially-created account or trust.

Limitations to College Expense-Related Support

While the court has the authority to order divorced parents to contribute to their child's post-high school education, Illinois law includes several provisions designed to protect parents in such a situation. For example, only students who are unmarried and under the age of 23 may be considered for this type of support. At the court's discretion, the age limitation can be extended to age 25 upon a showing of good cause.

The law also provides that the support should be used to help cover the expenses associated with tuition, room, and board, supplies, books, utilities, travel, and other school costs and is limited to the amount that would be paid if the child attended the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign during that same academic period. The support order can be terminated if the student's grades drop below a C average or if the student gets married.

Contact a Chicago Child Support Lawyer for Guidance

If you are the divorced parent of a child who is approaching college age, it is important to know and understand the law regarding non-minor support for educational expenses. For more information, contact our office. Call 312-984-1514 for a limited free consultation today. The Law Offices of Curtis Bennett Ross, LLC represents clients in Chicago, Andersonville, Oak Park, Wicker Park, River North, Greektown, Bucktown, Lincoln Park, West Loop, Old Town, and the rest of Cook County.

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