Extending Child Support for College ExpensesChild 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.

Establishing Support

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.

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DuPage County business asset divorce attorneyIf you are a business owner, your business is most likely one of the most expensive assets that you own. Deciding who gets to keep the house is one thing, but a business is a whole other creature that can be difficult to divide when you are getting divorce.

Your specific circumstances will determine how much of the business your ex is entitled to, but in some cases, he or she may be entitled to as much as half of the business. While a prenuptial agreement is the best way to ensure your business is protected in the event you divorce, not everyone gets one. Here are four ways you can protect your business during a divorce:

1. Get a Postnuptial Agreement

If you dropped the ball and did not have a prenuptial agreement in place when you got married, do not fret - you can still get a postnuptial agreement. Typically, a postnuptial agreement in Illinois has the same type of clauses and information about what would happen in the event of a divorce, you are just signing it after you are married, rather than before. But beware, if you try to enter into a postnuptial agreement after you have already made the decision to get divorced, your agreement may not be upheld in court.

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Dupage County college expenses after divorceIn Illinois, child support payments end when the child turns 18 years old or when he or she graduates from high school, whichever comes later. The ending of high school does not mean that both parents are done contributing to the child’s living expenses, though. Under Illinois law, parents are also subject to “non-minor support,” which is typically used while the child is in college. Many times, you can address this issue before your divorce is finalized by putting who will pay what in the divorce agreement. If you did not address this issue before you finalize your divorce, do not fret. You can still address this issue with a divorce lawyer or in court if need be.

Expenses That Are Covered

It is not just tuition that is covered under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. The Act states that educational expenses can include:

  • Up to five college applications;
  • Two standardized college entrance exams;
  • One standardized college entrance exam preparatory course;
  • Housing expenses, including a meal plan;
  • Tuition and fees;
  • Medical expenses, including dental expenses;
  • Living expenses, such as food, utilities and transportation; and
  • Books and other supplies needed to attend school.

Making Decisions About College Expenses

Not all parents are required to cover their child’s college. Illinois courts understand that not all parents have the financial means to pay for such expenses. When making determinations about requirements for paying these expenses, the courts look at:

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How Clinical Depression Affects Your Marriage and DivorcePeople commonly experience depression after a traumatic event, such as leaving a stressful marriage and getting a divorce. However, there is a distinction between trauma-related depression and clinical depression, which can be hereditary. Depression caused by trauma can gradually subside, though it may take months or years. Clinical depression, also known as major depression, likely existed before your divorce and may grow worse if left untreated. Research suggests that people with clinical depression are more likely to have conflict in their marriages, which may lead to divorce.

Recognizing Depression

Most people feel sad when they have bad experiences, but not everyone feels depressed. Clinical and trauma-related depression have similar symptoms that are greater than sadness, including:

  • Feeling hopeless;
  • Fatigue;
  • Irritability;
  • Insomnia;
  • Lack of concentration;
  • Change in appetite;
  • Losing interest in normal activities; and
  • Suicidal thoughts.

People with trauma-related depression can identify specific events that triggered their depression, which may help their treatment. Clinical depression may be related to someone’s brain chemistry and how his or her mind responds to stress. Negative experiences that some people consider to be minor may cause a more heightened reaction in people with clinical depression. A traumatic event such as divorce is almost certain to cause major depression in these people.

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Four Health Insurance Options After DivorceDivorce can have the unfortunate consequence of forcing you to find a new health insurance plan if you were previously on your spouse’s plan. You have several insurance options to choose from and should start shopping for one early in your divorce. The approval process can take weeks with some insurance providers. If you allow your insurance coverage to lapse, you risk having to pay out of pocket for an unexpected medical bill. However, you should also thoroughly research your options to find the best combination of benefits and affordability. Follow these four steps during your health insurance search:

  1. See If Your Employer Offers Insurance: An employer health insurance plan would likely provide you the cheapest and most comprehensive coverage. Getting a divorce immediately qualifies you to join an insurance plan, instead of waiting for an open enrollment period. However, a small business may not offer insurance, or the insurance plan may not have the benefits that you need.
  2. Ask Your Spouse About Staying on Plan: If you need to shop for a new insurance plan, ask your spouse if you can stay on his or her plan until your divorce is final. Your spouse can choose whether to keep you on or kick you off his or her plan while your divorce is ongoing. His or her response may depend on how contentious your divorce is.
  3. Apply for Continuing Insurance: You have 60 days after your divorce to contact your former spouse’s employer about remaining on the employee health insurance plan through COBRA. If you are approved, you can continue the coverage for as long as three years and with the same benefits as when you were married. However, COBRA insurance is your most expensive option because you will pay the entire cost of the group rate and a two percent administration fee.
  4. Shop for Individual Insurance: You can receive individual health insurance through the state exchange, the federal marketplace, or private insurers. As with COBRA, you have a 60-day special enrollment period after your divorce to apply. Through the shopping process, you can find insurance plans that you qualify for based on your income.

A Healthy Divorce

You must include the cost of paying for your own health insurance as part of your post-divorce budget. The extra expense may determine what compensation you need from your divorce. A Kane County divorce attorney at Geneva Family Lawyers will help you determine how your health insurance will affect your divorce. Schedule a free consultation by calling 331-588-6611.

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phone 630-920-8855
address15 North Lincoln Street, Hinsdale, IL 60521
phone 331-588-6611
address21 North 4th Street, Geneva, IL 60134
Our firm handles family law and personal injury matters for clients in Chicago and throughout the western suburbs including DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, Cook County and the cities of Aurora, Bloomingdale, Bolingbrook, Burr Ridge, Carol Stream, Darien, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Joliet, Kendall County, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Park, Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace, Clarendon Hills, Oswego, Park Ridge, Roselle, St. Charles, Geneva, Villa Park, Warrenville, Wheaton, Western Springs, LaGrange, Winfield, Woodridge and Yorkville.

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