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Will child support cover private school expenses?

Child support was created in order to protect children nationwide from the economic impact of separation or divorce. There is a common belief that child support should only be awarded to cover a child’s bare necessities like food and clothing. In fact, Texas law permits the award of child support to cover a wide array of kid related expenses. Child support awards in Texas will be based on a variety of financial factors along with the child’s needs.

Calculating Child Support

Child support calculations require an analysis of the parent’s finances, the number of children involved, time spent with both parent, and the child’s needs. Child support may be used towards:

  1. Basic necessities: All children, of course, need proper food, clothing, and a safe place to live. Child support can be awarded so as to provide for a child’s reasonable basic needs. Parents can use child support to pay essential expenses like the mortgage and utility bills.

  2. Health insurance: Typically, the court will require one of the parents to provide the child with medical insurance. The parent with a good employer sponsored plan will usually bear this expense.

  3. Extraordinary medical expenses: Children will often have medical needs that go beyond those covered by insurance. Extraordinary medical expenses could include braces, eyeglasses, or expenses related to a medical condition. Both parents will generally be required to provide funds towards extraordinary medical expenses.

  4. Educational fees: If the child attended private school before the divorce or separation, the court may order the payor spouse to contribute to private school expenses. Alternatively, if a parent wishes to switch the child to private school and can prove it is in the child’s best interests, the court may order the other parent to split the expense. Other educational fees could include textbooks, uniforms, or a private tutor.

  5. Extracurricular activities: Child support can be used to pay for extracurricular activities like summer camp, sports, and afterschool programs. These activities are commonly viewed as beneficial to the child.

Contact a child support lawyer for assistance with filing or contesting a child support action. Child support calculations can be difficult to perform and the court will need to assess many factors. Your family law attorney will help to ensure your child support award is fair and benefits the child.