We all know that private school can be quite expensive and can be more so after a divorce. If your children are in private school, adding their tuition to the stress of divorce and less combined income can become quite overwhelming. For these reasons, it is common for parents to question how tuition payment will be covered after divorce.
Is Private School Tuition Payment Always Required?
There is no way to avoid child support after a divorce, though there are many uncertainties when it comes to the expenses of private school. The Court can require one or both parents to pay for private school expenses, but it is done on a discretionary basis and is not part of the initial expense formula used to determine the costs of raising children.
In Utah, Child support is meticulously calculated in accordance with the Child Support Guidelines. However, in certain circumstances, the Court can use discretion to deviate from the Guidelines and from the level of support offered by them. In fact, private school expenses are one of the most common reasons that the Court chooses to deviate from the Child Support Guidelines. If the Court deviates, then it will typically consider your child’s entire educational expenses, such as private school tuition and other related costs and fees.
So Then, Who’s Payin’?
If the children’s parents fail to reach an agreement on the issue of payment, the private school tuition payment plan will be decided and finalized by a judge. The Court will almost always consider a variety of factors when choosing what is best to handle the private school costs. Among these factors are:
- Both parent’s ability to pay for tuition,
- If the child had settled into the school before the divorce,
- Any religious background,
- Any special needs the private school is accomodating,
- Prior agreements between parents regarding continued attendance.
If a judge decides that the private school in question is in the best interest of the child and they find that the parents can afford it, then either or both of the parents can be responsible to pay for the child’s private school tuition.
Still, Having Issues?
Disagreement is common in divorce proceedings. So, should you need guidance, call our office during regular business hours to receive a free consultation on your case? At Burton Family Attorneys, you can find a compassionate yet aggressive attorney who will fight for what’s best for you and your children. Work with us, and learn why we are the best family law attorneys in Utah.
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