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How Long Do I Have to Pay for My Child’s College?

 Posted on April 22,2024 in Child Support

Yorkville, IL child support lawyerParents who get divorced are required by law to continue providing for their children’s needs. These child expenses include not only child support but also “non-minor support.” Non-minor support is financial support, such as assistance with college expenses, that parents must provide even after the child turns 18.

In cases where one parent is significantly more well-off than the other, that parent will often be the one to pay all or most of the child’s expenses. When it comes to educational expenses, Illinois law is specific about what these expenses include and when they end.

This article will discuss educational expenses and when a parent can stop making payments. As always, it is important to discuss any questions you have about child expenses with an experienced family lawyer.

What Are Educational Expenses?

Educational expenses include tuition and fees for your child’s education, and they do not stop when your child turns 18. Even if your child is legally an adult, you may still be required to fund his or her high school education or higher.

If your child is seeking a post-secondary education such as college, Illinois law will likely require you to pay for:

  • Up to five college applications

  • Two standardized college entrance tests

  • A standardized college entrance exam preparatory course

  • Tuition and fees, as long as they do not cost more than the in-state tuition and fees at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • Housing expenses, on- or off-campus

  • Medical expenses, including medical and dental insurance

  • Living expenses for the child throughout the year, including breaks

  • Books and other supplies

Keep in mind that these expenses are subject to several factors. A court can modify some or all of these payments based on the parents’ financial resources, their future earning ability, the child’s academic performance, the financial resources of the child, and the standard of living the child would have enjoyed if his or her parents had remained married.

When Can I Stop Paying Educational Expenses?

Parents are no longer required to pay for a child’s educational expenses if:

  • The child gets a cumulative average grade lower than “C” without a valid reason such as illness.

  • The child gets a bachelor’s degree.

  • The child turns 23.

  • The child gets married.

In some cases, a court may order a parent to continue paying educational expenses until the child turns 25, but that is where the law places a hard limit.

Contact a Yorkville, IL Family Law Attorney

There are many expenses that parents are required to pay throughout a child’s life, up to and including early adulthood. Educational expenses can be particularly costly, especially if you do not have the right legal representation. Contact an experienced Kendall County, Illinois family lawyer who can help you understand which educational expenses you may be required to pay and how long you can expect to pay them. The attorneys at the The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. are skilled in matters concerning child expenses and offer premium legal assistance. Call 630-409-8184 for a consultation today.

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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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