Is Private School Allocated in Child Support?
Private school tuition can be allocated in child support cases if certain criteria are met. First, the Court will determine whether the parents have adequate financial resources. As a general matter, parents have less disposable income after divorce. This is because many costs, such as housing, utilities, and groceries now must be duplicated. Just because an intact family could afford private school tuition does not necessarily mean the parents will be able to afford it post-divorce.
Assuming the parents have adequate financial resources, the Court will consider whether there was a prior agreement to send the child to private school, whether the child has special needs that cannot be accommodated in a public school setting, and whether family history suggests continued attendance in private school but for the parents’ separation. No one factor is dispositive, but as a general matter, it is difficult to compel a parent to contribute to private school tuition when they have joint legal custody and did not agree to send the child to private school. Whether private school tuition is included in the child support calculation is determined on a case by case basis.
Private school is also something that is negotiated over in the broader context of property division, alimony, custody, and child support. Our family law attorneys can assist you in arriving at a resolution that is holistically best for you and your children, including where your children attend school and how tuition, if any, is paid. If you are facing a challenge involving the attendance and payment of private school for your child, you should contact one of our Family Law attorneys.