Paying College Tuition and Expenses After Divorce in Illinois

college, DuPage County family law attorneysIf you are going through divorce proceedings or have a child support agreement in place, you may be wondering about how you and your child’s other parent will make decisions about paying for college expenses or post-high school training when your child reaches college age.

Even if your children are young, it is wise to plan ahead for the payment of college tuition and expenses so that both parents can begin saving towards their children’s education, and to prevent disagreements about paying for college from adding to the stress of an already emotional and tumultuous time for families of students entering college.

Your DuPage County family law attorney can help you plan for your children’s future by explaining the factors the courts will consider when assigning responsibility for paying college or post-high school expenses, and asking the court to consider relevant factors.

What Are Considered College Expenses?

Illinois law considers college and post-secondary expenses to include:

  • Certain college application expenses, including the cost of up to five applications, two standardized tests, and one test prep course, including materials;
  • Tuition and fees;
  • Books and supplies;
  • Housing expenses;
  • Health insurance and medical expenses, including dental; and
  • Reasonable living expenses, including meals, utilities, and transportation. This applies even when the child continues to live at home or with one parent.

Factors Courts Consider When Dividing Assigning Responsibility for College Expenses

There are several factors the courts will consider when determining how much each parent must contribute to their child’s college or post-secondary education, including:

  • Each parent’s income and financial resources;
  • The child’s own financial resources and income, including financial aid and grants awarded and college savings plans created on his or her behalf;
  • The standard of living the child is accustomed to and would have experienced had his or her parents never divorced;
  • The child’s academic performance.

Clarification of Factors for College Expense Planning under New 2016 Law

Under the most recent changes to the Illinois family law guidelines, the court will also take into account the parents’ needs to save for their own retirement expenses when deciding how to assign college tuition and expense payments.

When Does Support for College Expenses End?

In Illinois, a parent’s obligation to help support his or her child can extend up until the child turns 23, or 25 under certain circumstances. There are several reasons where the court may determine that support is no longer warranted, though. Typically this occurs when the child is consistently not doing well in school, graduates, or marries.

Consult an Experienced DuPage County Family Law Attorney

Whether you already have a divorce decree or child support agreement in place, or are just beginning to consider divorce proceedings, it is important to discuss planning ahead for the allocation of college expenses with your experienced DuPage County family law attorney.



Moving Out of the Shared Home During Divorce Proceedings in Illinois

moving out, Wheaton family law attorneysIf you are going through a divorce, or are considering initiating divorce proceedings in Illinois, you may have questions about separation and moving out, and how these choices can affect your rights during and after the divorce. One of our experienced divorce and family law attorneys in DuPage County can speak with you regarding your particular situation and help you make a plan with which you feel comfortable.

The Abandonment Myth

Many people mistakenly believe that moving out of the shared residence during divorce proceedings can cause one spouse to forfeit their rights regarding the home. Fortunately, this is not the case.

The court is concerned about dividing assets fairly, and requiring one spouse to give up their rights simply because they did not wish to remain in the shared home during the divorce would not serve justice. You do not give up your rights to fair division of marital assets simply because you wish to set up residence separate from your soon-to-be former spouse.

The court may take into consideration, of course, if one spouse is going to retain the residence, how the other spouse will be compensated for their portion of ownership. These are all important matters to discuss with your family law attorney in DuPage County.

Factors to Consider When Moving Out of the Shared Home

While your shared property will still be considered a marital asset even if you move out of your home during divorce proceedings, there are some important factors that you will need to discuss with your experienced family law attorney and how these issues could impact your divorce, including:

  • Moving out of state or even to a different county or school district;
  • Moving in with a romantic partner or roommate;
  • Choosing a residence and community that is safe and appropriate for your children;
  • What property you should and should not take with you when moving out;
  • Taking an inventory of your marital property and assets; and
  • Making arrangements for paying the mortgage, utilities and other bills associated with your property.

Domestic Violence and Moving Out

For persons who have suffered domestic violence at the hands of their spouse, the decision to move out can be especially difficult, and the moving-out process can even pose a risk to their safety, since abusers may lash out when they see that their spouse is serious about ending the relationship and moving forward on their own.

Your family law attorney can work with you to create a safe plan to protect yourself and your children during and after the moving-out process. Some important factors your divorce attorney can help you consider include:

  • Whether to file a temporary restraining order/order of protection;
  • Asking a judge to order your spouse to move out;
  • Whether to file for temporary emergency custody of the children;
  • Where to live and whether to seek assistance at a domestic violence shelter;
  • Documenting the abuse, harassment or stalking;
  • What papers, documents and records you need to secure; and
  • Locating financial records and any potential hidden assets.

Consult an Experienced Family Law Attorney in Illinois When Considering Moving Out

No matter where you are in the process of deciding to move out or whether your divorce is underway yet, one of our experienced DuPage County divorce attorneys can provide support and guidance as you make these important decisions.



Divorce and Family Law Issues Facing Military Families

military, DuPage County divorce lawyerFamily law matters can be complicated, especially when one or both spouses are military service members, whether active duty, reserve, or retired. If you or your spouse is a current or former military member, it is important to work with an experienced family law attorney in Illinois who handles military divorces and is familiar with all the ways a service member’s career can impact the divorce process.

Factors That May Affect a Military Divorce Proceeding

Due to the extremely stressful situations military families must face, many military marriages deteriorate over time. Our compassionate family law attorneys in DuPage County understand that along with the sacrifices your family has made in service to our country often comes marital strain as the result of prolonged deployment, post-traumatic stress disorder, feelings of depression and isolation, and difficulty readjusting to home life following deployment. These issues can even lead to substance abuse, domestic violence. and infidelity.

No matter the circumstance that led to the breakup of your marriage, our experienced divorce attorneys can be by your side to support you through this complex process.

Legal Issues Unique to Military Divorce

There are a number of legal matters unique to military divorce that are crucial you consult your divorce attorney about, including:

  • How deployment could affect child custody arrangements;
  • Whether a civilian spouse retains certain armed service benefits following divorce;
  • How frequent relocation might affect child custody and parenting time;
  • Issues related to military pension and retirement and the rights of the civilian spouse;
  • Whether any domestic violence or substance abuse amounts to military misconduct;
  • The interplay of state and federal laws affecting service personnel and their dependents; and
  • Military spousal and child support.

Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act and its Impact on Divorce

Another important law that may affect a military divorce is the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act, which allows soldiers to suspend certain legal actions so they can devote their full time and attention to their service obligations.

This can include postponing collection of debts, such as credit cards, mortgage payments, and taxes, among other debts, as well as allowing servicemen and women to sometimes get out of their rental and vehicle leases, or to potentially avoid foreclosure proceedings. While this can be a relief for military families in times of need, it can also pose complex challenges during divorce proceedings, when issues of marital assets and debts must be decided.

Consult an Experienced Military Divorce Attorney in DuPage County

The unique challenges faced by divorcing military members and their spouses are why it is so crucial that you work with an experienced DuPage County family law attorney who understands the nuanced legal issues that can arise during such a divorce. Call 630-871-1002 today for your free initial consultation.