Child support payments in Illinois usually end after a child turns 18 or graduates from high school. However, a family court can order both parents to contribute toward a non-minor child’s post-high education. Paying for your child to attend college can cost tens-of-thousands of dollars each year, and getting your co-parent to help pay for it may be the best way to afford it. The court will not automatically award you child support to pay for college expenses. You must prove that the support payments are necessary, and your child student must meet certain conditions for the payments to continue.
Child support payments were mandatory when your child was a minor. Now that your child is a legal adult, you have a burden of proof to show why your co-parent should continue making support payments. In reaching its decision, the court will consider:
- Each parent’s financial resources;
- How the parents’ divorce affected the child’s standard of living;
- The child’s academic performance; and
- The child’s own financial resources.
The court may want you to explore options that could save money on college before it awards support payments. This may include applying for financial aid or attending a more affordable college when given a choice of two schools that offer equal educational opportunities....