Illinois remains one of only several states that extends a parents obligation to the support of children after the age of majority even in cases where the child is not disabled. Thirteen states, including Illinois, require post-high school education support while an additional 11 states will enforce contracts entered by agreement regarding post-high school education expenses or allow some exceptions that can create a post-high school education expense obligation.
And since January 1, 2016, Illinois law has been comprehensively changed regarding post-high school educational expenses in several ways. Generally, these changes reflect existing case law but in several respects there are new or different provisions.
The new / current Illinois law provides:
- There is a sunset for the obligation: Age 23 generally but in no event beyond the child’s 25th birthday;
- There are new provisions for submission of the FAFSAs (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and other financial aid forms.
- There are new provisions that the court may require the parents to contribute to 2 standardized college entrance exams and up to 5 college applications;
- There is a presumption that the U of I in Champaign/Urbana is the cap regarding expenses for both tuition, room and board;
- There is a new provision that the child must maintain a decent grade point average — a cumulative “C” average, with certain exceptions.
- There are new provisions regarding how 529 and other college savings plans are to be handled.
- The final new provision allows the court to consider the future financial resources of both parents including savings for retirement.