CONSIDERATION OF PRIVATE SCHOOL TUITION IN CHILD SUPPORT
As parents, we know that children are expensive to raise and care for, however, only a few specific expenses are included in determining the calculation of child support in Maryland. After we determine each parent’s income, we include the expenses of childcare, health insurance coverage, and extraordinary medical expenses. I’ll elaborate on these calculations in a future blog. Beyond these 3 categories, other expenses incurred by parents are not included to reach a baseline amount of financial support needed to care for children.
Often parents will ask how child support is calculated if your child is attending private school. Will the court divide the cost of private school tuition? What about including the tuition under the childcare section?
There is no requirement that the parents split the costs of an extraordinary expense like private school tuition, however, in some instances, the court will look at a number of factors to determine if that number should be included in the cost of support.
The Court of Special Appeals in Witt v. Ristaino, 118 Md. App. 155, 701 A.2d 1227 (1997) held that the trial court may include the costs of private school education irregardless of whether the children have learning disabilities or special educational needs.
In order to make this determination, the court balanced a number of factors. Those include:
1. The child’s educational history including the number of years attending private school.
2. The child’s need for stability and continuity during the difficult time of the parent’s separation and divorce.
3. The child’s entitlement to continue the standard of living he or she enjoyed prior to the parent’s separation.
4. The child’s performance in school.
5. A family tradition of attending private school.
6. Was there any agreement to send the child to private school before the separation?
7. Any particular factors that may exist which have an impact upon the child’s best interest.
8. The Parents’ ability to pay.
Let Us Help You Today
If you are separating from your significant other and have concerns about keeping your children in private school or concerned about being required to cover the cost of a private school education for your children, then reach out to us today. The calculation of child support can be complex and challenging. Not only is it a difficult time for you, but the process can be complicated and taxing without representation. The attorneys at Meng Law are experienced in navigating the process of calculating child support and will be able to help you determining the correct and fair amount needed for your children. Contact the experienced Prince Frederick child support attorneys serving Southern Maryland at the offices at Meng Law at 410-449-1647 or online today to help you understand your legal rights.