Author, “Post-Majority Support for Education in Illinois” (Illinois State Bar Association Child Law Newsletter, August 2013)
In Illinois, there exists a unique opportunity for mandated post-secondary support for education available to the children of divorced parents that does not exist for the children of married parents. According to a statutory provision in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, the court may award educational expenses for post-majority children as part of a Marriage Settlement Agreement. 750 ILCS 5/513(a)(2) provides that this parental support may apply to “periods of college education or professional or other training after graduation from high school,” or for any high school education that continues after a child turns 19. Although common, this award is not automatic, however, and can depend on a variety of factors.
Author, “Support Awards for Adult Disabled Children in Illinois ” (Illinois Bar Journal, December 2012)
Over 10% of children have a developmental disability. Developmental disabilities range from mild disabilities, such as speech and language deficiencies, to serious developmental disabilities, such as mental impairments, cerebral palsy, and autism. They require special services and extensive support in the areas of health, education, and self-care, usually for a lifetime. As a result, families in these households experience additional stress, which often manifests itself as martial trauma and ultimately, dissolution. Consequently, support for disabled children features prominently in a marital dissolution. But, with no foreseeable improvement in the quality or availability of public support services for disabled adults in Illinois, how will existing disability and divorce law be applied to achieve legitimate results in the face of the changing needs of this aging population? As litigation in this area increases, what test will the courts apply to achieve consistency?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]