The primary purpose of child support is to provide minors with financially-stable living environments that encompass their basic living needs. Calculating and establishing the guidelines of child support payments is an important facet of many divorce settlements.
Basic living expenses include:
- Educational expenses
- Health care (circumstantially)
The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) makes special provisions regarding the education of children. For example, the court has the option of awarding payments that support a child through high school and college. However, child support doesn’t necessarily cover extracurricular activities or clubs that could help a child enter college. Likewise, there is no provision stating that child support payments are intended to cover private school tuition.
If both parents are in agreement, then child support options can be arranged or modified to support private school tuition. However, the court may need to intervene if parents can’t come to an accord. Depending on certain factors, a judge may require a non-custodial parent to contribute half of the private school tuition payments.
There are two important factors the court needs to consider before making a judgement. First, the court must review the financial situations of both parties. If a noncustodial parent can’t afford to pay the tuition costs, then alternative schooling options may need to be considered.
Another important factor for the court to ponder is what schooling the child had prior to the divorce. The intention of the court is to make decisions that prioritize the needs of minor children. Divorce often has a negative impact on a child’s mental and emotional wellbeing, and, in many cases, a familiar school filled with recognizable teachers and friends provides a sense of stability. As such, the court may award additional child support to the custodial parent to keep the child in a familiar school setting. Again, this is also dependent on the financial situations of both parents.
Seek Legal Guidance
Contact Wakenight & Associates, P.C. if you have concerns about child support options or payment modifications. Our Illinois child support attorneys can help you negotiate a settlement or modification that is fair to your financial situation and provides for your child’s needs.
We offer bilingual services! Call our Illinois child support lawyers today to schedule your free consultation. Our firm has multiple office locations across Illinois, including: Joliet, Mokena, Oak Park, and Elmhurst.