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AgreementsChild SupportDivorcePost Divorce IssuesSettlement AgreementsCan a Divorced New York Parent Be Required to Pay for Private School Tuition?

March 21, 2016

The choices regarding how and where a child will be educated can be some of the more contentious issues in a New York divorce. Often, the dispute as to a child’s schooling comes down to one thing: whether the child will attend public school or private school.

When one parent, especially a custodial parent, wants their child to attend a private school, will the other parent be required to contribute to the hefty costs of private school tuition, even over their objections?

In New York, a child’s educational expenses, along with other basic expenses such as medical care and day care are generally shared by the parents on a pro-rata basis. These expenses are in addition to basic child support obligations.

New York law gives judges wide discretion as to whether to order a parent to contribute to the costs of a private school as part of their obligation to pay for educational expenses. New York Domestic Relations Law (DRL) §240(1-b)(c)(7) provides, in relevant part, that:

“Where the court determines, having regard for the circumstances of the case and of the respective parties and in the best interests of the child, and as justice requires, that the present or future provision of post-secondary, private, special, or enriched education for the child is appropriate, the court may award educational expenses. The non-custodial parent shall pay educational expenses, as awarded, in a manner determined by the court, including direct payment to the educational provider.”

One of the key “circumstances of the respective parties” that the court will look at in making a determination as to private school tuition obligations is the financial ability of the objecting parent to contribute to that tuition. See, e.g., Manno v. Manno, 196 A.D.2d 488, 491 (1993). Courts will also consider the academic backgrounds of the parents as well as the educational abilities and needs of the child.

As with most issues in a divorce, the best resolution as to a child’s education and related costs is an agreement between the parties. An experienced New York divorce attorney can help ensure that a comprehensive martial settlement agreement brings clarity to the respective parents’ obligations so future disputes can be avoided.

If you have questions or concerns about child support obligations, please give Clement Law a call at (212) 683-9551 or fill out our online form to arrange for a consultation.  At Clement Law, we provide trusted counsel and effective advocacy to individuals in New York and New Jersey going through the transition of divorce. We look forward to assisting you.

Finding Legal Help For Child Support Issues

Our trusted New York, NY child support lawyer understands the challenges parents face when seeking child support for private school expenses in New York. Attorney Daniel Clement has over 35 years dedicated to divorce and family law. When you need help, you can call our office. 

What Are My Options If My Child’s Other Parent Refuses To Contribute To Private School Expenses?

If your child’s other parent is not fulfilling their obligation to pay for NYC private school costs as outlined in your child support agreement or court order, you have legal recourse. Your trusted New York child support lawyer can help you explore your options, including enforcing the existing order, seeking a modification to include private school expenses, or pursuing legal action to compel compliance.

Can A Lawyer Help Me Modify My Child Support Agreement To Include Private School Expenses?

Yes, a lawyer can assist you in petitioning the court to modify your child support agreement to include private school expenses. In New York, courts may consider private school tuition as an additional child support expense if it is deemed to be in the child’s best interests. Your lawyer can help gather evidence and present a compelling case to support your request for modification.

What If My Child’s Other Parent Claims They Cannot Afford Private School Expenses?

Even if the other parent claims financial hardship, they may still have a legal obligation to contribute to private school costs based on their income and financial resources. A lawyer can help assess the other parent’s financial situation and advocate for your child’s right to receive a quality education, including private school if appropriate.

What Steps Can A Lawyer Take To Enforce Child Support For Private School Expenses?

If the other parent refuses to pay child support for private school expenses despite a court order, a lawyer can take legal action to enforce compliance. This may involve seeking contempt charges, wage garnishment, asset seizure, or other remedies available under New York law. Your lawyer will work diligently to ensure that your child’s educational needs are met.

What Evidence Should I Gather To Support My Claim For Child Support For Private School Expenses?

To support your claim for child support for private school expenses, it’s essential to gather documentation that demonstrates the necessity and cost of the educational program, as well as the other parent’s ability to contribute. This may include invoices or tuition statements from the private school, evidence of the child’s enrollment and attendance, financial records showing your own contributions, and information about the other parent’s income and assets. A lawyer can help you compile and organize this evidence to present a compelling case to the court.

Get Trusted Legal Help

If you’re facing challenges obtaining child support for private school expenses in New York, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Law Office of Daniel Clement for assistance. Our experienced lawyers are here to advocate for your child’s best interests and help you navigate the legal process with compassion and expertise. Attorney Daniel Clement was selected as “Super Lawyer” because of his attention to detail and the individualized approach he takes to his cases. Contact our child support lawyer in NY today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward securing the support your child deserves.

The information contained in this website has been provided for general informational purposes only and DOES NOT constitute legal advice; there is no warranty on this information and it does not in any way constitute an attorney-client relationship. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. All individuals are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice regarding their specific situation and facts. 


Further, e-mails or other correspondence with any member of this firm does not create an attorney-client relationship without the explicit written agreement between the parties

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