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Does an Illinois child support order cover college expenses?

The law says that you and your co-parent are obligated to provide financial support to your children even if you are divorced. The failure to do so harms children and poses significant hardships to the custodial parent.

All Southern Illinois child support orders address a child’s basic needs (at least). However, in some situations, it can also cover some of the expenses related to the higher education of non-minor youths.

When can you get child support for higher education?

If the noncustodial parent cannot afford to cover these educational expenses, it is unlikely that a judge will include them in a court order. In parenting situations where money is not a problem, your child support order may address the following.

  • College fees and tuition
  • On- or -off-campus residential expenses
  • Medical and dental expenses, including insurance costs
  • Materials and supplies required for coursework (books, etc.)
  • Reasonable living expenses for the academic period and applicable recesses

If the adult child lives with a parent instead of on campus or elsewhere, educational expenses in a child support order can cover their food, transportation and utility needs.

What do courts look at before approving educational support?

They usually look first at the financial resources each parent has at their disposal so as not to impose future economic hardships. They will also view:

  • The student’s academic record
  • Whether the student has financial resources
  • The student’s standard of living if their parents had remained together

Child support is necessary for all members of a split family. It gives minor and non-minor children security; it helps the custodial parent manage their finances; it strengthens the bond between children and the noncustodial parent. To ensure your child support arrangements benefit all parties, especially your kids, learn more about Illinois family law.

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