With many couples deciding to divorce later in life, sometimes coinciding with the kids heading off to college, some may worry if they can count on their ex-spouse to help out with the kids’ tuition.
Certainly, if it is determined that a parent has the means, they should contribute to their child’s post high school educational expenses. However, it must be within a reasonable time frame and take into account both parents’ financial situations with an eye on their need to prepare for their own retirements.
To be fair and consistent, the Illinois Family Law Study Committee provides a few recommendations to guide the process of awarding educational expenses for a child who wishes to attend college.
First of all, to avoid stringing out the process indefinitely, educational expenses should be incurred no later than the student’s 23 birthday, unless there is good cause to act otherwise or the parties agree to a delay.
Under no circumstances should an award be made after the student’s 25th birthday, thus providing a reasonable amount of time for a student to get a degree under their belt while allowing some measure of predictability for parents with regard to finances.
To provide consistency in awarding tuition payments, the maximum amount of expenses for tuition, fees, housing and meals should be limited to what is charged at the University of Champaign-Urbana, unless good cause is shown or the parents agree to fund a more expensive option (750 ILCS 5/513).
Of course, the student has some responsibilities and limits to observe. With few exceptions, such as illness or other extenuating circumstances, if a student fails to maintain a C average, educational support may end. Once the student achieves a bachelor level degree or turns 23, the tap stops flowing.
Questions on College Tuition After Divorce?
Contact an Experienced Illinois Divorce Settlement Agreement Lawyer for Answers
If you are divorcing, it is important to plan for the cost of higher education if children are in the picture, whether they have reached that milestone or it is several years away. As part of your divorce settlement agreement, your attorney can help you ensure that your ex-spouse will pay their fair share of higher education costs so your kids can get off to a good start. If you have questions or would like more information regarding how college tuition costs are handled in a divorce, contact the Libertyville, Illinois family law offices of Ronald L. Bell & Associates at 847-495-6000 for help today.