Child Support and Private School Tuition: Can One Parent Make The Other Pay?

Some parents going through a divorce are concerned that their spouse is trying to make them pay for private schooling for their kids, even though they think the expenses are unreasonable and that public schooling is a perfectly suitable option. Others are upset that an ex-spouse is refusing to pay for private school tuition, especially if their kids had gone to private school for several years during their marriage.

There is not one-size-fits-all standard for making decisions about support and education for kids in a divorce. A judge has to look at what’s in the best interests of that particular child, use his/her discretion, and make a decision accordingly. In some cases, yes, the courts may order that one parent pay for a child’s private school tuition as part of the child support order. However, there are multiple factors that influence the situation.

Will you have to pay for private school?

When you and your spouse cannot reach terms on whether or not your child should go to private school and who should pay for it, the courts will need to decide. The judge presiding over your case will hear both sides and take any relevant factors into consideration before making a decision.

Some of the things that may impact the decision include the following.

  • Your child’s education history (Was s/he in private school prior to the divorce? For how long?)
  • Any previous agreement you and your ex had about education
  • Your ability to pay for tuition and school expenses
  • The existence of any special needs your child has that might be better met in a private vs. public school
  • Your family’s religious background (for church-affiliated private schools)
  • How involved each parent is in the child’s education

Negotiating and Coming Up with a Compromise

If you are your spouse are at odds as to the kids’ education, and how to handle child support, call Molly B. Kenny to make an appointment for a consultation. We will review your situation, help devise ways to support your stance, and facilitate negotiations with your ex/ex’s attorney. If you can’t reach an agreement and your case goes to court, we can help you come prepared so that the judge can have a clear picture of your side of the story.

Contact the Law Office of Molly B. Kenny today at 425-460-0550 to schedule your consult.

Molly B. Kenny's Bellevue family law office is conveniently located on Lake Bellevue Drive, making it easily accessible to those in the greater Seattle area. Our divorce and child custody lawyers help men and women get the information, guidance, and compassionate representation they need.
Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny