Can I Be Forced To Pay For My Children's Private School Tuition In A Divorce In Florida?
Florida law does not specifically state that parents can be forced to pay for private school tuition in a divorce. Instead, it publishes a guideline amount for child support. If parents have extraordinary expenses related to education, they can request a child support amount that differs from the guideline amount, which is called a deviation.
Normally, if the parents agree that the children should go to a private school, they will split the costs. However, if only one parent wants to send the children to a private school, but the other parent does not, a court will hold a hearing to hear both sides of the case. The judge will consider whether or not the non-custodial parent has the ability to pay, whether the children were attending private schools before the divorce, any agreements made between the parents, any special needs the children may have that would necessitate a private school, any lack of the non-custodial parent in the child’s education, and the religious background of the parties if the school is religious in nature.
At the hearing, the judge will consider all of these factors and will decide whether or not private school is in the best interests of the children. The judge will also consider whether the parents can afford private school. If the judge decides private school would be in the children’s best interest, and that the parents can afford it, he or she may make the parents pay for it.