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Child support and college expenses

Conditional expenses such as college tuition and extracurriculars can be included when determining child support, but are not required to be covered by parents. If these expenses were not considered during the parent's divorce, one parent may be able to request ongoing child support to serve their child throughout their college years. They can do that by seeking a modification of the support order from the family court.

When deciding to award ongoing child support for college expenses, the family court may consider a variety of factors. These factors are similar to those the family court uses when determining child support for a minor child. Similar to the process of applying for financial aid, the family court will consider the financial resources and incomes of both parents, the child's academic performance, as well as any other available financial resources, including possible financial aid and scholarships.

The family court may also consider the type of arrangement the adult child would have had if his or her parents had not divorced. If one parent suggests that the college expenses would have been paid for had the marriage not dissolved, a family court may be more willing to award ongoing support.

The order to continue child support for the duration of an adult child's college education would be subject to the same modification, enforcement and termination as a support order for a minor child. This support would likely be meant to cover expenses related to tuition, travel, books, room and board and medical expenses until they receive their degree. Parents wishing to seek a continuation or modification of a support order for their adult child may benefit by speaking to a family law attorney.

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Goddard & Malmquist

Goddard & Malmquist
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Barrington, IL 60010

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