Who pays for college after divorce in Illinois?

| Mar 22, 2021 | High-Asset Divorce |

If you have kids or teens with your spouse and you plan to divorce, you must share college expenses for your children under Illinois law. The division of payments for tuition, room and board, and related costs depends on a range of factors. 

Review this state provision if you live in Illinois and have children with your estranged spouse to inform the discussion about how you will pay for their education. 

Eligible costs

When determining child support in your case, the court may provide for vocational school, professional school, college, or university tuition and expenses. Qualifying costs include food, transportation, living expenses, medical expenses, dental expenses, on-campus or off-campus housing costs, textbooks, supplies, fees and tuition. 

Generally, the state uses the annual average living costs for the current year at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to determine a fair support amount. 

Factors in educational support

The judge may consider whether you and your spouse can pay for college and also save for retirement. He or she will review the family’s standard of living, financial resources, your child’s independent financial resources such as college savings, and how your child performs in school. 

While educational support continues after your child turns 18, you can agree with your spouse to either end support at age 23 or continue support until your child reaches 25.  

Regardless of age, you can stop providing educational support if your child does not maintain a C average, earns a bachelor’s degree or marries. You cannot end support solely because your child receives a criminal sentence, joins the military or becomes pregnant.