While child support may have been originally decided years ago with your divorce, that does not mean the court order will remain unchanged. Even after a child reaches the age of 18, the parent who pays child support sometimes still has obligations, particularly if they have the financial means to pay for college, and the other parent does not have the ability to do so.
How Does the Court Make a Decision?
Not all children end up going to college, and not all children of divorce go, either. If a child’s parents do not have the ability to pay, they will either have to come up with the money themselves, take out loans, or simply not attend. However, if their parents do have the means to pay, and the child has proven academic success, the court may decide to create an order of support for college expenses that the non-custodial parent is responsible for. To make this decision, the court will consider the following:
- Finances of each parent;
- Finances of the child, such as scholarships or financial aid;
- Child’s academic achievements; and
- Standard of living the child has become accustomed to.
As such, if the child was not planning on attending college, their grades are not good enough to get in, or the custodial parent has substantially more financial resources to pay for college, the court will likely not require you, the non-custodial parent, to pay, or will only require you to pay a small portion.
Looking at the Full Picture of College Expenses
Tuition at Illinois public universities ranges between $13,000 per year to around $21,000, depending on the school and major. The least expensive option is a community college, which ranges between $3,500 to $6,000 per year. These tuition fees alone can cause a shudder of financial fear for a parent asked to pay. However, college expenses do not stop there. In addition to tuition fees, a non-custodial parent may also be required to pay for or contribute to room and board, transportation costs, health insurance, dental fees, book costs, and other living expenses. However, as per 750 ILCS 5/513, total college fees that a non-custodial parent is responsible for are capped at what a student would have to pay to attend the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Call a DuPage County Child Support Attorney
As a non-custodial parent, it is understandable that you have mixed feelings about paying for your child’s tuition and other college expenses. On the one hand, you want what is best for your son or daughter. On the other hand, you may not have the resources to make this happen, and court-ordered support could cause you serious financial difficulties. For help, call the Wheaton, IL child support attorneys at Andrew Cores Family Law Group today at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation.