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DuPage County child support lawyersWhen contemplating a divorce, parents have more to think about than just their relationship. While no one wants to stay in an unhealthy relationship, parents oftentimes choose to remain in toxic relationships, due to financial concerns, insecurity, and the wellbeing of their children. For many parents, the thought of a separation is quelled by the notion that they will no longer be able to support their children. Even those that believe they will receive child support payments have questions about their long-term ability to support their children’s dreams. No question is bigger than "Will I be able to help my child go to college?"

Fortunately, the state of Illinois has laws that can help sole-custody parents continue to receive child support for a non-minor child’s education expenses. If you want to help your child attend a quality university but are worried that your former spouse may not contribute, it may be time to contact a family law team that will represent your family’s best interest.

The Price of a College Education

College tuition prices have skyrocketed. The average 4-year private university costs approximately $50,000 per year. While tuition costs alone can seem insurmountable,  the modern college student is faced with ever-increasing room and board payments, transportation expenses, fees for books and supplies, and other financial obligations.

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Posted on in Divorce

With the ever-increasing cost of college tuition, more and more parents are giving their child a head-start by saving for their future education. Unfortunately, if those parents are married and then later divorce, there may be some concerns over what will happen to those funds. For example, if your spouse has difficulty managing money and then gets ownership of the account, the savings plan could be at risk. Alternatively, you may be concerned over what might happen if your spouse later remarries or has more children, if your child's savings would be used to pay for another's tuition.

All of these concerns, and many others, were probably the last thing on your mind when you set up the savings account. Yet, now that you are divorcing, they may plague you and leave you worrying about your child's educational future. Rest easier by learning some ways that you can protect your child's college savings account during your divorce, and how an experienced divorce lawyer can help.

Understand the Limitations and Pitfalls of Your Savings Plan

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Whereas most divorcing couples are able to make a clean break, parents who divorce have a child that connects them, even after the papers are finalized. In the child-rearing years, this means a making switches for parenting time, paying or receiving child support, and possibly even bumping into one another during dance recitals or soccer games. When the child becomes an adult, parents must determine how to fund college tuition. Regardless of whether you are currently at this stage in your life, or simply want to plan for the future during your divorce, the following information can help in you deciding how to fund your child's college tuition after divorce.

Tax-Advantaged College Savings Plans

With the rising cost of tuition, more and more parents are planning and saving early. Many use a 529 savings plan because of its tax advantages, which works out fairly well while they are still married. Unfortunately, if they ever divorce, this savings plan is no longer just a nest egg for their child. It is now a marital asset, which makes it a consideration in their divorce settlement. This can lead to all sorts of complications that may range anywhere from a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) when applying for tuition assistance to a complete loss of the funds. For this reason, parents need to candidly discuss how they will manage the 529 during the divorce.

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Posted on in Child Support

Trying to prepare for financial obligations after a divorce can be stressful. Understanding a new financial landscape can be difficult when trying to assess bills or expenses, such as rent, utilities, car payments, or health care. Preparing for that financial change can be even more challenging when a child is about to start college. College can be a major expense; according to The College Board, the average tuition at a private four-year college is $31,231 a year-and that figure does not include additional costs such as housing, food, and books. While any family preparing to send a child to college is faced with the same financial burden, divorced parents may wonder who is responsible for the cost of college.

Financial Obligations to Children

When people consider providing financial support for children after divorce, the first thing that often comes to mind is child support. According to Illinois law, child support is generally available until a child reaches the age of 18 (or the age of 19 if he or she is still attending high school) and is designed to contribute to the basic needs of the child, including food, shelter, and health care. Illinois law also allows for continued child support for children over the age of 18 or 19 if they are mentally or physically disabled.

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