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Can My Spouse and I Decide How to Split College Expenses in Our Illinois Divorce Settlement?

Divorces can be stressful, with so much at stake, and many times conversations end in disagreements. In some instances, however, agreements over child support issues and other family law matters can be reached. Oftentimes, in the middle of a divorce, the subject of splitting your child's college expenses comes into the conversation. Divorcing couples often wonder if they are allowed to agree on a set split of college expense payments or if they should wait to speak with attorneys to settle the decision.

If you can reach an agreement, you and your spouse can absolutely come to terms on an amount or percentage you will each have to contribute. This is just one of many family law issues we deal with at Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC. We have dedicated decades to the practice of divorce and family law. It is recommended, however, that you discuss these terms with your attorneys to ensure that any disputes that arise if the future can be handled easily

A college expense agreement is subject to change if you or your spouse endure significant hardships that affect your financial situation. At MKFM Law, we pride ourselves on being one of the most established firms in DuPage County to handle cases such as these. Having an agreement regarding child support and college expenses will help you be prepared for your child's future and any changes that occur.

If you have questions involving child expense agreements or another family law matter, please call 630-665-7300 to speak with a skilled attorney. Schedule an initial consultation to discuss your options and to make sure your child's expense plan is taken care of. We serve towns in DuPage County, Kane County, and Kendall County, and our office can be found in Wheaton, Illinois.

What is a College Expense Under Illinois Law?

As of January 2016, Illinois family laws have changed. These updates include specifics on how divorced parents can assist their children in paying for college education.

"College expenses” can include the following:

  • The actual cost of tuition and additional fees
  • Housing expenses both on-campus or off-campus
  • Clothing, food, and transportation
  • Medical and dental insurance expenses
  • Textbooks, computers, and other supplies

These costs vary from college to college. Illinois law compares these expenses and costs to a student who attends the University of Illinois. If your child plans to attend a school that costs more than these average prices, you may not be required to assist in payment.

At Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC, we make sure that you are not paying longer than you have to for your child's education. Illinois law has determined this length of time. Once your child reaches his or her 23rd birthday, you are no longer obligated to continue payment. In some cases, however, if both parents agree, the expenses can be extended no further than the child's 25th birthday.

College education support can also be terminated earlier in a handful of different situations before the child is 23. For example, if the child cannot maintain a “C” average grade in their classes, support can be terminated. The only exception to that rule is if an illness or another cause prevented their student from maintaining good grades. Other examples include if the child has completed their Bachelor's degree or marries.

At MKFM Law, it is our mission to make these sensitive subjects easier and relieve you of any pressure that can be taking a toll. Our team of lawyers are are always here to help, so contact our office today. Call 630-665-7300 for a consultation. Our services range to DuPage County cities such as Wheaton, Naperville, Carol Stream, and Downers Grove, as well as to Kane County and Kendall County.

What is a Retainer?

Can I Be Forced to Pay for My Child's Illinois College Expenses?

When a couple finalizes a divorce, most of the financial responsibilities and issues may be resolved. However, for individuals with children, it is drastically different. There may be crucial financial questions to contend with, such as: "Who will pay for the child's college education?"

To help determine how much, if any, parents can contribute to their child's college expenses, these factors are examined:

  • The financial resources of both of the divorced individuals
  • The standard of living the child would have been allowed if the parent's marriage had not concluded
  • The child's academic performance prior and during the divorce to determine if they are able to attend college

Financial aid is another factor the courts will consider in the process. In most instances, the custodial parent will fill out a FAFSA to determine if their child qualifies for financial aid. If the child has offers for scholarships, loans, or financial aid, the court could rule the child take those offers to help reduce the cost for both parents in paying for college.

Every state has different factors that play into whether or not you will be required to pay for your child's education if they want to attend a private school. In certain scenarios, if a public college or university offers the same benefits and courses, your child may have to attend the latter in order to receive financial assistance from you.

At Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC, our goal is to help make a process like this easier to grasp regarding your child's college education. Contact us today and we will make sure you will not be paying more than you can afford. We will also help determine if your ex-husband or ex-wife is contributing what he or she should too. Call us at 630-665-7300 to set up an initial consultation. We serve in Kane, Kendall, and DuPage Counties including the cities of Wheaton, Carol Stream, Downers Grove, and Naperville.

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From our law office in Wheaton, IL the family law and civil litigation law attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick and Mirabella, represent businesses and individual clients throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois including Wheaton, Naperville, Oak Brook, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Lombard, Downers Grove, Burr Ridge, Lisle, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Winfield, Woodridge, Warrenville and throughout DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties.

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In honor of the passing of our founder, Joseph F. Mirabella, Jr., our offices are closed Friday, January 31, 2020.I Agree