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Can you seek increased child support to pay for private school?

While education is a fundamental need for children in the Lone Star State, the quality of schools varies considerably. Still, your child’s future may depend on the school he or she attends. With Texas private school tuition averaging around $10,000 per year, you may wonder if you can seek increased child support to pay for educational expenses at a nonpublic school.

Texas law requires judges to do what is in the best interests of the child. When it comes to child support, judges typically use a standardized formula for calculating payments. While this approach often requires the noncustodial parent to pay a percentage of his or her income, it does not contemplate private schooling. Nevertheless, if you want to send the young one in your family to a private school, you have a couple of options.

Reaching an agreement with your ex-spouse

Divorce can be hard on children. To lessen the potentially negative effect, you want to ensure your child has as much stability as possible. If your child already attends a private school, keeping him or her there may be the right strategy. While Texas law provides a framework for child support, it does not prohibit parents from negotiating their own agreements. Accordingly, if you can convince your ex-spouse to pay more in child support to cover private schooling, a judge is apt to respect your bargain.

Proving a special need

If you cannot negotiate enough child support to pay for your child to attend a private academy, you may need to ask a judge to go beyond the support guidelines. This requires showing your son or daughter has a special need that requires private school attendance. Specifically, you must submit evidence that demonstrates your son or daughter has certain requirements that only nonpublic schooling can address. If you can meet this burden, your ex-spouse may have to cover some or all expenses associated with the private school.

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