Illinois Children of Divorce: Post-Secondary Education Support
Divorce does not necessarily have to dash your dreams of a college education for your custodial children. In compliance with Section 5 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS), the court may, if necessary, evoke the power to protect and promote the best interests of a child by establishing a joint or separately held trust specifically designated for the support, maintenance, education, physical health, mental health, and the general welfare of any minor child.
As per Dads America, a national child custody association dedicated to protecting the parental rights of divorced fathers, Illinois joins California, Connecticut, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington, and Wyoming as one of the 10 states that permit for the possible allowance of post-secondary education support for children of divorce.
For Illinois residents considering divorce, the following information may provide a clearer understanding of Illinois child support law as you prepare for your initial consultation with a qualified Illinois family law attorney.
Although the normal cutoff date for child support obligations occurs when a child reaches the legal emancipation age of 18, as of 2003 Illinois stipulates that support can continue to the official date of graduation as long as a child is still enrolled in high school. In some instances, perhaps if a child has experienced an academic setback, child support may also continue to an emancipation age of 19 as long as the child is still regularly attending classes and working toward graduation.
Transference of Power
Under Illinois public law, once a child reaches the age of emancipation, all rights to state regulated child support guidelines are legally void. With transference of power, any request for a review of the situation, perhaps due to psychological or medical disability or the pursuit of higher education expenses, must be completed via petition of the court.
The court, under certain circumstances, may award the continuation of financial assistance while a child is attending an accredited college, university, or technical institute. In this area, Illinois law remains complex but may provide allowances that require the non-custodial parent to pay continual support to the custodial parent or directly to the institution on the student’s behalf. Under Illinois statute, an emancipated student can opt to legally sue his or her parents to obtain financial assistance for college related expenses and tuition.
Marital Settlement Agreements
No matter the type of agreement, Illinois law mandates that all originating child support orders include the date of which a designated child’s support will cease. It may be a viable option to explore this with your divorce attorney. By defining particular child support obligations, as well as opting for a specific termination date, all Illinois child support stipulations are superseded. This option may prevent further heated discussions before an Illinois court.
Divorce is a time of uncertainty for all family members involved. Parents, as well as the children involved, are often left pondering their future. To ensure your legal rights, as well as the stability of your child’s future, are protected, it may be in your family’s best interest to opt for a marital settlement agreement to avoid further court discussions.
Consult and Experienced Illinois Family Law Attorney
If you would like more information on post-secondary education support and Illinois family law, Geneva family law attorney Douglas B. Warlick welcomes the opportunity to address your concerns. For over 30 years, Attorney Warlick has been actively protecting the rights and interests of his clients. Contact the Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Assoc. at 630-232-9700 to schedule your initial consultation today.