You may be wondering whether child support will be enough to help you pay for your child’s college expenses. In Illinois, those expenses are not solely your responsibility. You may petition the court for financial support from the other parent.
State law says that the court may require the other parent to share certain educational expenses for post-high school education, whether that is a vocational school, college or some other professional training.
Even applying for college can be expensive. The judge may require the other parent to pay for a portion of up to five applications and two entrance exams. If your child needs an entrance exam prep course, the other parent may also pay for a portion of that. Other needs a judge considers include:
- Room and board
- Tuition and fees
- Medical expenses, including health insurance and dental needs
- Living expenses
- Books and supplies
The judge could require the other parent to pay bills directly, give you the money so you can pay bills or send the money directly to your child.
Before your child considers an expensive private university, keep in mind that there is a limit to the other parent’s obligations. Tuition and fees cannot exceed what an in-state student would pay at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that year. The limit on housing expenses is the cost of a double room on campus at U of I.
If your child lives with you while attending college, then the other parent would help pay for basic living expenses. To continue to receive educational support, your child must make passing grades. Support ends when your child turns 23, graduates or marries.
With two parents’ financial and emotional support, a good education and a better future may be within your child’s reach.