For many New Jersey parents, private school attendance seems like a must so that they can ensure their children will have better starts in their lives. When a couple divorces, it may be very difficult for the custodial parent to afford to pay for private school tuition alone, however. Some custodial parents ask the family court to order the other parent to pay costs towards private school tuition in addition to regular child support.
While judges can order that the other parent contributes additional amounts that are earmarked for private school tuition, it is a matter of the court’s discretion. This means that judges will not order it just because a parent has requested it. Instead, a judge will consider several different factors in deciding whether or not to issue such an order.
If the child has always attended private school and the paying parent only objects after child support has been requested, the court is likely to order the additional amount on top of the underlying amount. Judges are also more likely to order private school tuition contributions when the family has lived an affluent lifestyle. Finally, the court will consider whether the parents had previously agreed to their child attending private school if the child was not in school at the time of the marital split.
Child support can be ordered to help pay for the everyday expenses associated with raising a child. In some special cases, additional amounts may also be ordered at the judge’s discretion. In addition to school tuition, other circumstances that may prompt a court to order amounts beyond the base amounts are a child’s extraordinary expenses such as those associated with special needs. People who want to learn more about their rights to child support may want to consult with a family law attorney about their child and his or her needs.