Do child support orders include college tuition?

On Behalf of | Aug 16, 2022 | Family Law |

With the ever-rising cost of living comes a need for higher-paying jobs. While there are plenty of lucrative careers that do not require a college education, there are also many that do.

However, the cost of higher education continues to rise. Some parents believe they have no responsibility to help their children after they turn 18 while others believe their obligation continues until their children have the tools to be successful, which may include a degree. Financial aid automatically assumes that parents contribute regardless of whether or not they do, so a person with rich parents who refuse to pay anything may still end up without aid. While college tuition is not a requirement in a child support order, there are child support orders that include it.

Illinois judges have discretion

The state’s law allows courts to order parents to provide non-minor support, specifically, financial support for college. It is not uncommon for them to exercise this right. College expenses included in non-minor support may include room and board, textbooks, registration and application fees, transportation, living expenses and medical bills as well as tuition. The support generally only extends throughout the process of obtaining a bachelor’s degree.

Non-minor support may come with caveats

Parents ordered to pay non-minor support do not necessarily have to continue paying even if their children do not do well in college. There may be constraints to the support, such as the children must be full-time students and keep up a certain GPA.

In general, child support ends when a child turns 18, becomes emancipated, gets married or joins the military. However, courts also have the choice of ordering the payment of non-minor support to help the children get through college.

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