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Splitting Your Child’s Educational Expenses After Divorce

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When parents divorce, they must not only learn how to co-parent, but how to best manage their child’s expenses, including educational costs. While it is true that many childcare-related expenses are covered by child support, significant expenses related to a child’s education often fall outside the scope of these payments, meaning that the parents will need to come to an agreement on how they will be paid.

Making Education a Part of the Parenting Plan

When parents in Florida get divorced, they have to develop a parenting plan together. This plan outlines important custody matters, like how parenting time will be divided and how parents will share decision-making responsibility. Parents are encouraged to be as detailed as possible, which means that they can include specific information about their child’s schooling, including not only where the child will attend school, but how education-related costs will be covered. These costs could include:

  • Private school tuition;
  • Expenses related to extracurricular activities and school clubs;
  • The cost of uniforms;
  • The cost of tutoring;
  • The cost of meal plans; and
  • The cost of books and supplies.

While some of these expenses may fall under child support obligations, it is not uncommon for things like tuition to fall outside the scope of these payments. Parents who don’t initially include details about these expenses in their parenting plan may need to modify their agreement at a later date. This is also true for parents who later decide to cover their child’s college expenses.

Sharing Expenses Between Co-Parents

How parents divide their child’s education-related costs will vary depending on their circumstances. Some, for instance, may decide to divide the costs equally, while others will agree that the higher earning parent will pay the majority of the costs. Other parents divide the costs based on their incomes, or divide responsibility for certain costs amongst themselves. One parent, for instance, could agree to pay for a child’s extracurricular activities, while the other parent covers books and supplies. If two parents are unable to reach an agreement on how these expenses will be divided, then a court could step in and make the decision on the parties’ behalf. A court will, however, only order a parent to pay for private school tuition if:

  • The parent has the ability to pay;
  • The expense is within the family’s standard of living; and
  • Such an order would be in a child’s best interests.

For help reaching an agreement with a former spouse regarding your own child’s education expenses, reach out to our legal team today.

Set Up a Free Case Review Today

If you are divorced or are planning on ending your marriage and need help figuring out how you and your co-parent will split educational expenses, reach out to dedicated Fort Lauderdale child custody lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. for help. You can set up a free consultation with a member of our legal team by calling 954-945-7591 or by filling out an online contact form.

Sources:

floridarevenue.com/childsupport/child_support_amounts/Pages/child_support_amounts.aspx

scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=15726122312900576574&q=Wilson+v.+Wilson,+559+So.2d+698&hl=en&as_sdt=6,45

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