Child support and private school


I also forgot to mention that my husband has joint legal custody yet had no say in whether or not his daughter attends private school.



Dear Goodstepmom:

Greetings. Let’s see if we cannot get some answers here:

  1. If you have documented your disapproval with her choice of schools, unwillingness to pay, etc., then bringing that information to trial would be helpful. If I were you, I would have objected at the time of the placing of the child into private school, as getting you to pay in the long run seems to be a huge factor for her. I would also tell the judge that they voluntarily assumed this expense which you objected to, continue to object to, cannot afford, etc. and therefore it is not an extraordinary expense. Having cases to cite which show some of the past types of extraordinary expenses may also help.

  2. Make a motion to deviate from the guidelines, and ask that the court impute her income. You will need to prove that she has voluntarily depressed her income, but it sounds like you can do that she is not working up to a full-time capacity.

  3. In this case, you would have to file a motion to modify child custody to do anything about the travel arrangements. I doubt that her claims about her job will have any merit.

  4. It depends on what she tells the court the summer care is for. If the summer care is for camps, then yes, it will still be included. If she will be at home, then it should not be included this year. Thank you.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


We had our court date yesterday for child support modification. The wisest thing we did was hire an attorney. Even though it cost us several hundred dollars, it will save us thousands in the long run. Our case was successful and our child support will not increase. Actually going to court and not settling on the amount that the child support case worker tried to get us to, we actually found out that several of the ex’s numbers had been over estimated. I would never go to court to try and represent myself. Our attorney was worth every penny. [:)]

Thanks for your advise!


My husband and his ex-wife have a six year old daughter. The child support came up for review last October. We have several issues. The first is private school. Two years ago, his ex-wife enrolled their daughter in a christian private school without my husbands involvement or consent. At the time, he was told by his ex-wife that it did not matter whether he agreed or not, that it was not his decision and she did not need his help financially to pay for it. Since then, we have been informed by her husband that he will do whatever it takes to keep his step-daughter in private school even work 3 jobs. Now, she is trying to include the private school as an extraordinary expense. What do we need to prove so that this is not included? We do not have the financial means to pay for this. Also, their daughter has no physical, mental or emotional need to be in a private school. It is totally related to the fact that it is a christian school.
Second, she has reduced her hours at work all of the sudden and is now claiming that she makes about $5,000 less per year. There is not a medical or physical reason for this but she is getting ready to have another child and may be doing this for that reason. She has informed us that she plans to only work 35 hours per week even after her maternity leave. What is our recourse here?
Third, last year suddenly, she took their daughter out of after school care to save money and to force my husband to have to pick his daughter up at their home. She shares the responsiblity of picking up her daughter with her sister-in-law who also has children at the school. She does not allow us to pick their daughter up from school because the papers read 6pm. She was able to work 40 hours per week until just recently even though she was leaving early a couple of days a week to pick her daughter up from school. How likely is it that a judge will believe her claim that her hours were cut to pick up her daughter from school? She is losing $5000 per year and only saving $1000.
Lastly, she has included summer care in the child support work sheet as well. She has had her daughter in summer care up until this year. She will not have her there this year because she will be on maternity leave all summer. We have my step-daughter 3 weeks in the summer and will have no where to take her these weeks. Can we still be forced to have this included even if she is not going to be enrolled in summer care when we go to court in June?

I know that this is a lot. We just want to make sure all of our bases are covered before we go to court.
Thank you