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Swapping custody for better financial aid may no longer work

Parents will do a lot for their children. They will argue with school administrators for opportunities and go without so their children can eat well. Recently, it appears that parents will even give their children up, so they have a better chance at education.

Several Illinois parents have voluntarily surrendered custody of their children, so they could apply for greater levels of financial aid. Need-based financial aid for college education is generally based on the income of the student's household. When legal custody no longer exists, the student can often claim a lower income.

The loophole began to close in the last few weeks, when government attention from both Washington and Springfield accompanied public outcry about the process. Many parents are letting these pending cases lapse, while parents that have already attempted to shed custody maintain there is nothing illegal about what they have done.

"They have OK incomes," said one parent who let the case lapse of the other families going through the process. "But having a good income does not make you able to pay for college. I would have to not drink or eat to pay for my two boys."

Many discussions about legal custody of children have to do with disputes between parents who are divorcing or another family dispute that involves the fate of minors. In any of these case, legal representation for family law issues is generally a good idea. An attorney can keep clients informed while representing their interests in filings and hearings. A lawyer also insures no one has to go to court alone.

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Johnson, Johnson, & NolanAttorneys At Law

Johnson, Johnson, & Nolan
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Belleville, IL 62220

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