College Expenses

Cook County Divorce Attorneys Helping You Cope with Divorce and College Expenses

Respected Chicago divorce lawyers in Skokie and Cook County

The Skokie divorce lawyers of M. Scott Gordon & Associates can help you manage the complex legal issues surrounding divorce expenses, including subsequent college expenses.

Although a child of married parents has no legal basis to have a court order his or her parents to pay for college education, our Supreme Court has ruled that a court may order divorced or unmarried parents of children to assist a child with educational expenses. Although most people assume that this applies only to post-high school educational expenses, Section 513 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act states clearly that a court has the authority to “make provision for educational expenses,” not only for college or other professional training “after graduation from high school, but also to any period during which the child of the parties is still attending high school, even though he or she attained the age of 18. The educational expenses may include but shall not be limited to, room, board, dues, tuition, transportation, books, fees, registration and application cost, medical expenses, including medical insurance, dental expenses, and living expenses during the school year and periods of recess, which sums may be ordered payable to the child, to either, or to the educational institution.” A Skokie divorce attorney can help you determine which expenses may be covered.

Our courts have great flexibility in awarding payments under Section 513, and it often comes as a shock to parents that they can be “on the hook” for these obligations after divorce, in addition to other support orders, such as alimony or child support for the ex-spouse with child custody.  However, as with most family law-related issues, it is important to have an attorney who can make sure that each party’s responsibilities and that of the child’s (now an adult) are properly reviewed and shown to the court. Section 513 states that the court must review the following: (1) the financial resources of both parties; (2) the standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage not have been dissolved; (3) the financial resources of the child; and (4) the child’s academic performance. It is possible that many of the disagreements related to support can be sorted out in a less contentious manner through Chicago divorce mediation. Your Cook County divorce attorney can take you through a full review of your options.

In a recent matter that was handled by our Skokie divorce attorneys, a parent sought to have the other parent pay 100% of the college tuition, fees, books and private apartment housing of the 21-year-old child. In reading the petitioning parent’s motion, you would not know that the student had failed more classes than he had passed, had refused to work, even during periods when he was a part-time student or during the summer when he would not go to school at all, and that the petitioning parent had a substantially increased standard of living since the time of the divorce.

Good Skokie divorce attorneys who practice in this area of law know that they often need to “dig deep” into the facts to protect their clients and to make sure that all parties are “paying their fair share.”

Cook County divorce attorneys looking out for your best interests

If you are looking for more information about college expenses decisions, email Chicago family law attorney M. Scott Gordon at 847.329.0101 or 312.360.0250 . We serve Chicago, Evanston, Skokie, Northbrook, Niles, Glenview and the Cook County area.

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