Madilyn Keating Ellsworth’s Answer
Typically, parents are not financially responsible for children over the age of majority or high school graduation. However, in Illinois, courts may order divorced parents to contribute to their non-minor child’s college expenses.
Such educational expenses may include: tuition and fees; books and supplies; room and board; medical expenses; and reasonable living expenses. However, the parties’ obligations are limited to the costs of tuition and room and board at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for the same school year. Currently, U of I costs about $30,000-$35,000 per year.
In making an award, courts consider certain factors, including: (1) the resources of the parties and the child; (2) the standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the family remained intact; and (3) the child’s academic performance.
Parents’ obligations to contribute to their children’s college expenses terminate if (1) the child turns 23; (2) the child receives an undergraduate degree; (3) the child marries; or (4) the child fails to maintain a “C” average unless good cause is shown.