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Can private school be included in child support?

On Behalf of | Dec 10, 2021 | Child Support

Most parents who are going through a divorce and trying to figure out child support costs do not have to consider the cost of school. If their children are still minors and they attend a public school, it is paid for by taxes and there is no cost to them. If their children are no longer minors and they’re going to college, then they may no longer qualify for child support anyway.

However, as you move closer to your divorce, you’re very aware of the fact that you and your spouse chose to send your children to private school. This does have yearly tuition, even though they’re only in high school. Does the cost of that tuition factor into the child support obligations that you and your ex will have?

Private school can be included, but it’s not a guarantee

Generally, child support is for necessary costs that children inccur, such as the cost of housing, food and clothing. The idea is that parents would generally work together to provide a safe and healthy living environment for their children, and they still need to do so, even if they have gotten divorced. Otherwise, it would not be in the children’s best interests.

Private school is not guaranteed to be covered under this, as it is not seen as a fundamental necessity for children. However, it can be included If the parents agree to it, and there are examples of cases where parents have noted exactly what they would pay in tuition costs, expenses for new uniforms and other school supplies.

Once this is included in the court order, then it becomes an obligation that the parent must uphold. If they want to change this, they can ask for a modification to the order, but they have to follow that order until such a modification is made.

It’s also important to note that the children likely need to have attended the private school already for it to be considered during the divorce. A parent who is getting divorced cannot announce their intention to put the children in private school in the future and then ask for their ex to cover that cost.

When child support gets complicated

As you can see, child support issues can get very complicated and very expensive. This is why it’s important to know about all the legal rights that you have.


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