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College costs and divorced parents

When a couple in Illinois divorces with very young children still at home, the thought of how to pay for a college education for each child can seem so far off that it may be ignored. Even if there are multiple years before a child begins to plan for a higher education, parents should make planning for college expenses a priority when they get divorced.

As the National Conference of State Legislatures explains, most child support orders generally provide financial support for children up to either the age of 18 or 21. Some may identify support up to what is deemed the age of majority which is also often the age of 18. The age of majority refers to that time after which a person is legally able to make decisions for themself and enter into legal contracts.

Divorcing spouses who are interested in securing plans that help identify how to pay for college for a child may need to have specific provisions for this in their divorce settlements. According to the Illinois General Assembly, the state of Illinois does allow the court to stipulate some provisions for this. Courts, for example, may allocate or identify specific assets from either or both parents to be used to finance a college education.

Even though federal financial aid forms generally advice students of divorced parents that only the financial information of one parent is required when applying for federal financial aid, the state of Illinois may require that both parents provide their financial details on these forms.

 

 

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Courtney, Clark & Mejias, P.C.
104 South Charles Street
Belleville, IL 62220

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