As a parent, you want your children to succeed in all areas of life. One way you may be helping your kids achieve that goal is by enrolling them in private school, where they can benefit from a quality education in a safer environment with smaller class sizes, more learning opportunities in various subjects and high involvement from teachers and parents.
This educational route often comes with a high price tag. This may not have been an issue when your children first entered school, but what about after a divorce? Which parent is responsible for tuition and other costs?
Child support laws in California
Child support in California relies on variables such as the number of children, their ages and each parent's income. It includes necessities such as daily living expenses and medical care. However, child support payments do not automatically cover education costs except for children with special needs. In order to include education, you must meet certain requirements.
How to include private school costs in child support
The easiest way to continue your children's private school education is by mutually agreeing to it. You have the option to create your own child support arrangement according to legal standards if you can work together and agree on the terms.
Understandably, such cooperation is not everyone's reality in a divorce. If you and your ex disagree on who should pay or if the children should even attend private school at all, then the court will consider the following factors in the decision:
- How many children you have
- What grades the children are in (how many years of education left)
- The cost of tuition
- How much each parent earns
- Specific needs of the children, such as special academic programs or religious background
If the judge makes private school costs part of child support, the payment likely will only cover a part, and the other parent will have to pay the difference.