Private School Tuition as Child Support

Mark Alexander of our firm recently answered a question about child support and private school tuition:

First, the obligation to pay for private school tuition is a child support obligation, although private school tuition is usually NOT ordered unless there is a history of the child previously attending private school.

Second, child support may be modified any time there is a material change of circumstances. A voluntary change of circumstances (e.g., changing jobs to a lower paying one that is liked better) will usually NOT lead to a change in the child support. However, an involuntary change (loss of job, disability, etc.) ordinarily will lead the court to reexamine the overall picture.

Ordinarily, special expenses such as private school tuition are allocated between the parents in proportion to their income. The language [in the court order] would need to be read closely by an experienced family law attorney to render the best prediction of what a court may order if there is a material change of circumstances.