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School Days and School Fees: Balancing Education

Child Support and School Fees

One of the most common arguments between post-divorce partners has to do with the costs of education. Even if your children attend public school, there are always bills to be paid for class trips, school activities and fundraisers and supplies. If your children go to private school, the costs can be almost limitless. Therefore, it is very important to establish who will pay for each of these costs before the final divorce agreement is signed.

School Costs: Equally Shared?

In the past, the parent who had the children at the time they attended school often paid daily expenses for schools such as buying lunches, purchasing school supplies and shopping for clothing. However, this has become so expensive that many parents are agreeing to split these costs, even for children who attend public schools.

Private school costs are even more expensive and may include uniforms, dry cleaning and other expenses not needed for public school children, some public schools are even going to uniforms, creating yet another expense for the children’s parents. Private school students also pay tuition, and this can become very expensive. Some schools charge as much as $2,000 per month per student, so it is very important to establish who will pay these fees.

Can I Get Credit For School Expenses on My Child Support?

The question of how much child support a parent pays is a tricky one. Technically, child support does not include school tuition because it is supposed to be for the day-to-day feeding, clothing and sheltering of the child. On the other hand, if you are agreeing to pay $1,500 per month in school tuition, you might feel you need a break on your child support!

In most cases, it is possible for parents to work out a sensible agreement concerning child support and school costs. Depending on how much money your spouse makes, a judge is unlikely to order you to pay an exorbitant amount of child support when you are already paying for health care coverage, tuition and other expenses for your child. On the other hand, if your income disparity is very large, a judge could order you to pay more. It is best to talk with your attorney and examine your options.

The Men’s Legal Center can help you determine a fair amount of child support and school fees so that you can negotiate a settlement.