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Can Your Child Request Support for College Expenses?

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Child Support

college expenses, Aurora child support lawyersAround this time each year, tens of thousands of high school seniors prepare to graduate and being looking ahead to the future. Some will enlist in the armed services, many will enter the workforce, while others will look to further their education at a college, university or trade school. How they will pay for school is another question entirely, as much has been written about the growing problem of student loan debt and ever-increasing college expenses. While Illinois law does address the possibility of a parent contributing to his or her child’s post-high school education, situations in which such support may be ordered are somewhat limited.

College Expenses Following a Divorce

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) is a series of statutes that govern marriage and divorce, and most of their attendant issues in the state. The IMDMA provides that, in most cases, court-ordered child support ends once a child has turned 18 or graduated from high school. However, the law grants the court the discretion to order continued support for an adult child to assist with college expenses. In doing so, the court must take into account a number of factors, including the income and resources of each parent, including retirement savings, the standard of living created in the marriage, the child’s resources, and the child’s academic performance.

Filing for Support for College Expenses

According to the IMDMA, the issue of support for a child’s college expenses is one that is entirely between the divorcing couple. Paying for college is a financial concern that could be addressed in a divorce settlement, and if it is not, the court may intervene. Essentially, it is up to each parent to decide whether they want to help their child pay for his or her education. If one parent does want to help the child, that parent can ask the court to order the other parent to assist as well.

The child, however, does not have standing to file a petition for support for college expenses. While some may argue this restriction unfairly limits the child’s legal rights to support, the law is explicitly clear. Only a parent can begin the proceedings, regardless of the child’s financial needs.

Skilled Child Support Lawyer

If you have questions about non-minor support for college expenses or any other child support issues, contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney. At the Law Offices of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we understand the challenges that divorce can present, and we are equipped to help you. Call 630-409-8184 to schedule a confidential 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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