Splitting Educational Expenses When You’re Divorced
When two parents divorce, they need to learn how to co-parent effectively, but also how best to manage their child’s expenses, including his or her education-related costs. Some of these costs will be covered by child support, but many more will fall outside the parameters of these payments, leaving parents to decide how to manage those costs. For help coming up with a solution that is unique to your own family, reach out to our legal team today.
Including Private School in Your Parenting Plan
The cost of public school, which could include funds for lunches, school supplies, and field trips often falls under and is covered by child support. The cost of private school, however, usually far exceeds the portion of child support that goes towards things like supplies and books. Fortunately, couples can account for these costs separately in their parenting plan, allocating responsibility for tuition payments in such a way that:
- The parents split the tuition 50/50 every year;
- The higher earning parent pays for tuition once a year;
- The parents pay based on their disparity in income, such as 70/30 or 60/40, with the higher earning parent paying more; or
- Financial aid or scholarships cover the majority of tuition and related expenses.
Not all parents plan on sending their children to private school from the get-go, in which case they may need to re-negotiate their settlement agreement or go back to court and ask a judge to divvy up responsibility for paying tuition for private school at a later date. This can be complicated, so parents with children are strongly encouraged to discuss these issues ahead of time and preemptively include an agreement in their parenting plans.
Paying for Extracurricular Activities
Many children benefit from involvement in extracurricular activities, like sports, dance, music, or being involved in an after school club. Unfortunately, some of these lessons can be expensive and are often not included in child custody agreements. In these cases, parents will need to come up with their own agreement on how the costs will be divided. Again, they could decide that the higher earning parent pays for the majority of fees, while parents could instead decide to split the expenses evenly. Another popular arrangement involves one parent paying for one activity, while the other parent pays for the next activity. Alternatively, the parent who wants the child to participate in the activity could agree to be responsible for paying the costs that go along with it.
When coming up with an arrangement for paying for extracurricular activities, parents should also consider working out a system for who will be responsible for signing up for extracurricular activities and taking the child to performances, recitals, and games. For instance, many parents both want to have a say in whether their child engages in extracurricular activities, while others may only want to be notified when their child is signed up for one.
Set Up a Free Consultation Today
If you are divorced or are going through divorce and need help deciding how you and your co-parent will divide up responsibility for paying your child’s educational expenses, reach out to experienced Florida child support lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. today.