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BRINGS MANY CHANGES TO ILLINOIS DIVORCE LAWS | Chicago Family Law Blog

The consent shall not apply to any non-academic records. Failure to execute the required consent may be a basis for a modification or termination of any order entered under this Section. Unless the court specifically finds that the child's safety would be jeopardized, each party is entitled to know the name of the educational institution the child attends.

A child's enlisting in the armed forces, being incarcerated, or becoming pregnant does not terminate the court's authority to make provisions for the educational expenses for the child under this Section.


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If the parties' settlement agreement describes the manner in which a child's educational expenses will be paid, or if the court makes an award pursuant to this Section, then the parties are responsible pursuant to that agreement or award for the child's educational expenses, but in no event shall the court consider the child a third party beneficiary of that provision. 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.

The right to enforce a prior obligation to pay may be enforced either before or after the obligation is incurred. FindLaw Codes are provided courtesy of Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the industry-leading online legal research system. For more detailed codes research information, including annotations and citations, please visit Westlaw. FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction.

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Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs. Explore Resources For A new addition is the court can require both parents and the child to complete financial aid applications and forms. The court may also require the parents to pay the costs of five college applications, two standardized college entrance exams, and one standardized college entrance exam prep course.

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These provisions can apply while the child attends high school. I know of very few cases where a court ordered divorced parents to pay for college visits, applications, or entrance exams. In fact I usually tell parents to file college expense motions right before or after the child graduates high school. However, recently I filed such a motion before the child started his high school senior year, with the child's college application and test fees as one reason.

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The new statute also more clearly defines educational expenses. They may include but are not limited to the actual cost of the child's tuition, fees, and housing. However, the parental obligation cannot not exceed what the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign UIUC charges for tuition, fees, and a double-occupancy student room in a residence hall with a standard meal plan.

Other educational expenses include medical expenses and insurance, dental expenses, living expenses during recess periods, books, and supplies. Under current law, the court typically uses a "benchmark" school an in-state, public institution to cap the parental obligation for college expenses.

Illinois Statutes Chapter 750. Families § 5/513.Educational Expenses for a Non-minor Child

In my geographic area, the benchmark school is either Northern Illinois University because it is closest, or UIUC because it is largest. If a child wants to attend a private institution or outside of Illinois or both , the child must cover all costs higher than the benchmark school's charges.


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  • Lawyers and judges have used the benchmark school in practice for most of my college expense cases, so this concept is not now. Still, it is good to see the benchmark school as part of the new statute. The new law changes when obligations for divorced parents to contribute to their children's college expenses end.

    It terminates when the child fails to maintain a "C" cumulative grade point average except for illness or other good cause, reaches age 23, receives a bachelor's degree, or marries. A child enlisting in the armed forces, being incarcerated, or becoming pregnant does not terminate the parental obligation for children's educational expenses.

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