college expenses and child support faq illlinois

Illinois Child Support & College Expenses

Video by Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Article written by Illinois & Iowa Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Updated on
October 28, 2019

In this article we will explain under what circumstances a parent can be required by an Illinois court to pay child support for a child’s college expenses and other educational expenses after the child is no longer a minor.  

For an overview of Illinois child support law, check out our article: Illinois Child Support 2019.

Child support is generally required in Illinois for children of separated parents until the child either reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school.  However, Illinois courts also have the discretion to award child support after the child has reached the age of majority for multiple reasons, including providing for the adult child’s education.

The primary difference between child support for minor children and child support to provide for the education of adult children is that, while child support is automatically required for minor children, parents seeking child support for educational expenses after the child has reached the age of majority must prove to the court that the child support is appropriate.  

Illinois courts are required to consider four factors when determining whether to order child support for educational expenses after high school:

  1. The financial situation of each parent;
  2. The standard of living that the child would have enjoyed had the parents remained together;
  3. The child’s own financial resources; and
  4. The academic performance of the child.     

In addition to the four factors that the courts must consider, Illinois courts also tend to weigh the following in making their decision:

  • The cost of the school in question as well as the academic and extracurricular programs that it offers;
  • The child’s goals, and how the school in question align with such goals;
  • Whether there are public schools available that are similar in quality;

As stated above, unlike child support for minor children, the burden of proof is on the parent seeking the child support to demonstrate to the court that the
other parent’s payment of child support for the educational expenses in question is appropriate.  The parent seeking child support must demonstrate the cost of the educational expenses in question, that such education will be appropriate and beneficial to the child, and that the other parent should contribute to such cost.  

If the parent seeking child support is able to make a prima facie case (i.e. meet his or her burden of proof) that the educational expenses are appropriate, the burden shifts to the other party to demonstrate that he or she should not be required to pay for the educational expenses or should be required to be pay less than the amount requested.  If the educational expenses are deemed appropriate, the amount each parent will be required to contribute, will be based on the relative income of the parents.  

Additional Financial Considerations
from Financial Experts

From Financial Experts

For many years, financial institutions have been creating a disservice to clients and the industry as a whole for years.
View More Professional Considerations

Presented By O'Flaherty Law

can you get child support for a child in college?

Need Legal Help? 

Schedule a

What to Expect From a Consultation

The purpose of a free consultation is to determine whether our firm is a good fit for your legal needs. Although we often discuss expected results and costs, our attorneys do not give legal advice unless and until you choose to retain us. Although most consultations are complimentary, some may carry a charge depending on the type of matter and meeting location.

Leave a Comment With Your Questions

Read more about

Family Law & Divorce

Disclaimer: Our articles and comment responses do not constitute legal advice and are not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

Please contact us to schedule a free consultation for legal advice specific to your situation.

Here are some articles that may interest you

Contact us for a Free Consultation

Schedule a free consultation

O'Flaherty Law is happy to meet with you by phone or at our office locations in:

Who We Are
We are your community law firm. Our Illinois & Iowa Attorneys are committed to providing exceptional client service in a cost-effective manner in the areas of Family Law, Probate, Estate Planning, Civil Litigation, Guardianship, Criminal Defense, Corporate & Contract Law, Bankruptcy and Real Estate.

Some of Our Accomplishments

Best Child Support Lawyers in Chicago
DuPage County Probate Attorney
Kevin P. O'Flaherty
Rated by Super Lawyers

loading ...
Naperville attorney
DuPage County Probate Attorney

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required