Who pays private school tuition after divorce in New Jersey?


Who pays private school tuition after divorce in New Jersey?

Children sitting at desk with paper and pensPaying for private school tuition is often a consideration that is addressed during the divorce process, but not always.  Sometimes, this issue leads to litigation after the divorce is already finalized. The best approach to address private school tuition if there is a desire for a child to attend private school, is to address it before the divorce is finalized as part of the marital settlement agreement. Negotiating and discussing educational matters ahead of time will likely avoid problems in the future. However, sometimes this is not possible, especially if private school tuition is not an issue that the parties anticipate in the future. 

Can private school tuition be included in child support?

According to the appendix, IX-A to R.5:6 A, private school and parochial school tuition are not included in the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines and may be handled as an additional supplemental expense. Most litigation surrounds whether there should be an obligation under particular circumstances, as the Guidelines do not automatically impose the obligations on both parties.

Can a divorced parent be forced to pay for private school in New Jersey?

In accordance with New Jersey law, there are certain factors that the court is to consider to determine whether a non-custodial parent has a responsibility to contribute to a child’s secondary private school tuition. Some of those factors include the non-custodial parent’s ability to pay, whether or not it is in the child’s best interest to attend or continue to attend private school, whether there are certain special needs of the child that the private school meets, whether there is a religious issue prompting one parent’s desire to send the child to private school, whether there is a private agreement between the parties to pay for the child’s private school tuition, and whether the non-custodial parent has been involved in the child’s education. Not unlike many other issues in family matters, determining a dispute regarding the payment of private school tuition, is a fact sensitive determination to be made by the court.

Can you deduct school tuition on taxes?

There is not a federal education credit or deduction, when paying for private school at the elementary or secondary levels. While there may be some exceptions to this rule, generally private school tuition is not tax deductible unless your child is attending a private school to address special needs.

Can you go to jail for not paying tuition? 

Arguably if there is a court order requiring a person to pay private school tuition or an agreement where the parties agreed, negotiated and reached an agreement as to the payment of tuition, and one party does not meet those obligations, there are certainly consequences and sanctions that can be imposed to address enforcement issues, as it relates to expenses for the children. Jail can be a real sanction if the circumstances are extraordinary enough when it comes to non-payment of support for children, but certainly a much less used sanction, as courts are inclined to avoid such drastic measures when possible.

Do I have to pay half of private school?

Here at DeTorres and DeGeorge we work hard to make sure that our clients have the answers that they need to make the best choices for themselves and their families. Contact us today if you have questions about private school tuition. We are here to help!


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