College Contribution

The court may order contribution towards post high-school expenses incurred for a child of the parties out of the property and income of either or both parties or the estate of a deceased parent.   Post high-school educational costs may include costs for college/university, junior college or trade schools.

Post High School Costs: What are they?

Although this is not an extensive list, the costs which may be allocated may include registration, tuition and fees, housing expenses and meals, books and supplies, and medical costs.

In the event of a disagreement, the Courts may limit the costs incurred to that of in-state tuition and fees paid by a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for the same academic year.

What a court considers when allocating expenses:

In allocating costs of post high-school educational expenses, the court may take each parent’s household income and assets into account, as well as a child’s ability to contribute towards the costs incurred.  The standard of living the child would have had in the event the marriage had not ended, as well as the child’s desire and ability to pursue post high-school education is also taken into consideration.

Time limitations and other restrictions

If the parents do not agree to an allocation of expenses, it is best to file a petition for contribution right away.  Any expenses incurred before filing a petition will not be reimbursed.

Generally, a child may not file a petition on his/her own behalf to force either parent to pay for or contribute towards these costs.  However, in the event of the death or legal disability of a party who would have the right to file a petition for contribution, the child of the party may file a petition for contribution.

As this does not contain an exhaustive list of the rights and responsibilities of both parents and the child, as with any legal issue, it is best to seek the advice of an attorney to address any questions or concerns relating to allocating post high-school educational costs.  The family law attorneys at Kenny, Kain and Jablonsky, L.L.C. are highly experienced in the adjudication and resolution of college contribution issues.