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Child Support And Private School


Most child support orders don’t specifically require a parent to pay for private school tuition. A court can, however, require a parent to pay such expenses as a part of his or her child support order in limited circumstances. Read on to learn more about when courts are willing to award private school tuition as a child support expense.

When Can Courts Require a Parent to Pay for Private School? 

In Florida, courts have discretion to require a co-parent to pay for his or her child’s private school-related expenses, like tuition, uniforms, and school supplies. They will, however, only do so when:

  • The co-parent has the ability to pay for those expenses;
  • The expenses fall within the family’s customary standard of living; and
  • Attending private school is in a child’s best interests.

In most cases, private school tuition can be included in a child support order when the child in question attended the school prior to the divorce. As long as the higher earning parent hasn’t undergone an employment change, the family hasn’t moved to a different school district, and the child’s needs haven’t changed, then a court will likely require continued coverage of the private school tuition in the child support order. If, on the other hand, the child attended public school before the divorce and doesn’t have any new educational needs, such an award will be unlikely.

What Else Does Child Support Cover? 

Except in these limited instances, child support usually doesn’t cover the cost of private school tuition. Instead, co-parents can expect these payments to cover a child’s basic necessities, including:

  • Shelter, through rent or a mortgage payments;
  • Food;
  • Utilities;
  • Daycare and other childcare costs;
  • Transportation;
  • Clothing; and
  • Health and dental care.

In addition to these costs, child support awards can also be used to pay for a child’s entertainment, like a vacation or trips to the movies, as well as recreational activities, such as sports programs and after-school clubs. When a co-parent requires more support, either because a child’s needs have changed or because his or her co-parent is spending less time with the child, then that parent can seek a modification of the child support order in court. This in turn, will require proof of a substantial change in circumstances, such as a job loss, sudden illness or disability, or relocation. For help seeking a modification of your own child support order, please reach out to our legal team today.

Do You Have a Child Support-Related Question or Concern? Call Today for Help

If your child attends private school and you are concerned about your ability to continue to pay tuition after divorce, don’t hesitate to reach out to Florida child support lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. for advice. Our legal team will put our resources and experience to work helping you come up with a parenting plan and child support arrangement that is in your child’s best interests. To set up a free consultation, please call us at 954-945-7591 or complete one of our brief online contact forms.


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