Child Support and Private School Tuition


#1

My stepdaughter will be starting Kindergarten in the fall of 2011. Her mother informed us that she is considering sending her to a private school. My husband is unable to contribute anything more than what we already do in child support for the cost of a private school. Are there any steps that he can take right now to try to ensure that the cost of the private school tuition is not included as an extraordinary expense when the child support is re-evaluated? There is no reason that my stepdaughter needs a private school, the public school in her district is an adequate school. Would it benefit him to put in writing to the mother, before she is enrolled in the school, that he is unable to contribute to the cost of private school tuition? The parents have joint legal custody, does this give him any decision-making rights regarding her education and the school she is enrolled in? Thanks in advance


#2

In some cases the court will factor private school tuition into child support calculation in cases where the court finds that the private school education is in the best interest of the child. In a case where the child has not been attending the school for a number of years, it would be an uphill battle for the mother to convince the court that the child’s attendance at the school is in her best interests.
While he cannot prevent her from trying to modify support, in my opinion her action to modify support to include these costs would be unsuccessful.
It certainly would not hurt for him to send her an email outlining his inability to contribute to the cost, and if he truly does not believe the child should attend this school, he may file a motion for judicial assistance seeking the court’s aid in making a decision regarding where the child will attend school.