Tag Archives: child support

Which Parent Pays for College in an Illinois Divorce?

Wheaton, IL divorce attorney for child college expensesThe price of a college education these days can exceed six figures for a four-year degree. According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees in 2017–2018 was $34,740 at private colleges, $9,970 for in-state students at public colleges, and $25,620 for out-of-state students at public universities. Those figures are for one year, and they do not include post-graduate degrees. Considering the expense of a college education, it is essential for parents who are getting a divorce to understand their options when determining who will pay for these costs.

Illinois Divorce Laws

The law states that parents may be required to contribute to the education of the child “as equity may require,” which means a fair division of the expenses. In the majority of divorces, the two parties create a written settlement agreement. This agreement typically, but not always, states how the parents will contribute toward their child’s educational costs. In many cases, the major considerations are:

  • the parents’ incomes

  • the parents’ financial resources

  • the child’s resources (such as financial aid, student loans, or college savings accounts)

According to Illinois law, a court can order a parent to help pay for a child’s college education in a divorce. Illinois is one of the few states in which payment of college expenses can be required without an agreement between the parents. The courts refer to these costs as “post-high school educational expenses,” because they are not limited to colleges or universities. Parents may also be required to help pay for trade or vocational schools for occupations such as electricians, plumbers, construction workers, beauticians, and more.

Other restrictions include the following: The child must keep at least a “C” grade average. Payments will end after a child’s 23rd birthday (or their 25th, if there is a good reason such as a delay due to military service) or if they get married. Obligations will be terminated when the child receives their bachelor’s degree.

It is possible to put a clause in a divorce agreement that allows the parents to determine who will pay for college at a later date. However, an obligation may or may not be retroactive. A retroactive obligation means a parent may be required to pay for costs that were incurred prior to when any petition for payment toward the child’s college expenses is filed.

What Are Considered “College Expenses”?

Unlike child support, the parents’ contribution to college expenses In the state of Illinois is not determined by a formula in the law; it is up to the judge’s discretion. However, Illinois law sets the factors the court should consider when determining who pays what. It also limits the parents’ obligations for some college expenses. Beyond the statutory limits, courts also consider that a parent should not be required to pay more than he or she can afford. The law defines “educational expenses” as including, but not limited to, the following:

  • tuition and fees

  • housing (on- or off-campus)

  • medical insurance and expenses

  • dental expenses

  • books and other supplies

Contact a Wheaton Divorce and College Expenses Lawyer

Paying for college is a significant expense even for a two-income family. If you are getting divorced, the thought of financing a college education can be very intimidating. Every situation is unique, but it is important to know your legal options for dividing your children’s college costs. The Andrew Cores Family Law Group can help you understand how to address these and other financial matters during your divorce and ensure that your child has the support they need while protecting your own financial stability. A knowledgeable DuPage County child support attorney can help guide you through the divorce process. To schedule a complimentary initial consultation, call our office today at 630-871-1002.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=075000050K513

https://www.studentdebtrelief.us/news/average-cost-of-college-2018/

How Can a Child Support Order Be Modified in Illinois?

DuPage County child support modification attorneyAfter you have gone through a divorce and are paying or receiving child support, there may come a time when you believe the amount you pay or the child receives should be adjusted. In Illinois, this may be done through a modification review process.

When Can I Have My Child Support Order Modified?

Under Illinois family law, an order for child support is eligible for modification review every three years, or when there is a significant change in either parent’s income or in the needs of the child. In the case of a three-year review, a parent will receive a letter from the agency in charge, informing them of the right to request a review.

Who Conducts the Modification Review?

Modification reviews of child support orders in Illinois are done by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), Division of Child Support Services (DCSS). The agency is tasked with the responsibility to make sure child support orders are consistent with applicable Illinois law and changed circumstances involving all concerned.

What Are the Requirements for Child Support Modification Review?

To qualify for a modification, one of the following conditions must be met:

  • At least three years must have passed since the date child support order was issued or since the date of the decision from the last modification review.

  • There is a substantial change in the non-custodial parent’s income.

  • There is nothing in the order that addresses the child’s healthcare coverage.

  • There is a written communication received by DCSS from the custodial parent, the non-custodial parent, or an agency in another state requesting a review.

If you have requested the modification review, both you and your ex-spouse will receive a letter from DCSS stating whether the order qualifies for modification review or not. You should expect this letter in 30 days or less from when DCSS receives your request. If the order qualifies for a modification, both you and your ex-spouse will be asked to provide information to be evaluated in determining whether your request should be granted.

What Happens After a Child Support Modification Review?

DCSS will analyze the information you and your ex-spouse provide to recalculate the amount of child support your child should receive. The results of the analysis will be sent to you by mail. This notice may state that the amount of child support payments will increase, decrease, or remain unchanged. If you disagree with the decision, the law allows you various ways you can have this decision itself reviewed.

Contact a DuPage County Child Support Lawyer

Requesting and obtaining a child support modification can be a complicated process, especially when there are other issues that cannot be resolved by DCSS. To ensure that the decisions made will meet your family’s needs while protecting your financial resources, you should work with an attorney who is experienced in family law and understands how the child support modification review process works. If you believe there are good reasons why child support ordered in your case should be modified, our knowledgeable Wheaton, IL family law attorneys are ready to help you get the modifications you need. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-871-1002 today.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050k510.htm

https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/ChildSupport/FormsBrochures/Pages/hfs3588.aspx

 

How Can a Child Support Order Be Modified in Illinois?

DuPage County child support modification attorneyAfter you have gone through divorce and are paying or receiving child support, there may come a time when you believe the amount you pay or the child receives should be adjusted. In Illinois, this may be done through a modification review process.

When Can I Have My Child Support Order Modified?

Under Illinois family law, an order for child support is eligible for modification review every three years, or when there is a significant change in either parent’s income or in the needs of the child. In the case of a three-year review, a parent will receive a letter from the agency in charge, informing them of the right to request a review.

Who Conducts the Modification Review?

Modification reviews of child support orders in Illinois are done by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), Division of Child Support Services (DCSS). The agency is tasked with the responsibility to make sure child support orders are consistent with applicable Illinois law and changed circumstances involving all concerned.

What Are the Requirements for Child Support Modification Review?

To qualify for a modification, one of the following conditions must be met:

  • At least three years must have passed since the date child support order was issued or since the date of the decision from the last modification review.

  • There is a substantial change in the non-custodial parent’s income.

  • There is nothing in the order that addresses the child’s healthcare coverage.

  • There is a written communication received by DCSS from the custodial parent, the non-custodial parent, or an agency in another state requesting a review.

If you have requested the modification review, both you and your ex-spouse will receive a letter from DCSS stating whether the order qualifies for modification review or not. You should expect this letter in 30 days or less from when DCSS receives your request. If the order qualifies for modification, both you and your ex-spouse will be asked to provide information to be evaluated in determining whether your request should be granted.

What Happens After a Child Support Modification Review?

DCSS will analyze the information you and your ex-spouse provide to recalculate the amount of child support your child should receive. The results of the analysis will be sent to you by mail. This notice may state that the amount of child support payments will increase, decrease, or remain unchanged. If you disagree with the decision, the law allows you various ways you can have this decision itself reviewed.

An Experienced DuPage County Child Support Lawyer Can Help

Requesting and obtaining a child support modification can be a complicated process, especially when there are other issues that cannot be resolved by DCSS. To ensure that the decisions made will meet your family’s needs while protecting your financial resources, you should work with an attorney who is experienced in family law and understands how the child support modification review process works. If you believe there are good reasons why child support ordered in your case should be modified, our knowledgeable Wheaton, IL family law attorneys are ready to help you get the modifications you need. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-871-1002 today.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050k510.htm

https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/ChildSupport/FormsBrochures/Pages/hfs3588.aspx