Chicago family law attorney Jay Frank answers:
Surprisingly, children of divorced parents may have a better chance of being able to afford to go to college than those with parents who are not divorced.
Under the Divorce Act, the court can require parents to contribute to a college fund for their children. But if the parents are not divorced, no other law requires them to pay for their children’s college education.
Illinois divorce law (Section 513 of the Divorce Act) gives the court authority to require parents to pay for their children’s college expenses. These expenses include room, board, dues, tuition, transportation, books, registration and application costs, medical expenses including medical insurance, and living expenses. Parents must pay the expenses while the child is studying for an undergraduate degree, but not past that time.
The judge will divide the expenses between the parents. Some judges will also require the child to contribute through summer or part-time employment and their savings. In general, the judge compares the income and assets of each parent in dividing the college costs. If the finances of each parent are nearly equal, then their contribution to
Jay A. Frank is a senior divorce practitioner with Aronberg Goldgehn Davis & Garmisa in Chicago. He has been selected as one of the top family-law attorneys in Illinois. With more than 35 years of experience, he focuses his practice on all aspects of Illinois family law. He can be reached at (312) 828-9600. View his Divorce Magazine profile.