Can you get additional child support if your child attends private school?
Making the choice to separate from a partner is never easy. With that being said, it becomes even harder when a child or children are involved. Emotions aside, there are many logistical factors in place when kids are a part of the separation process. One of the bigger factors is child support.
The Child Support Formula
When a court in Michigan determines how much child support needs to be paid, the court is required to use the child support formula. This formula figures out child support using the income of each parent, health insurance premiums, child-care expenses that are work-related and come before the August following a child’s twelfth birthday, and how many overnights with the children each parent has.
Do Variables Like Private School Matter?
Just because a court uses the child support formula, that does not mean that the factors stated above are the only factors that a court will consider. An attorney that specializes in family law should be able to help their client increase the amount of child support they are being granted based on certain variables. In fact, section 1.04(E)(2) of the 2017 Michigan Child Support Formula explicitly states that the court may deviate from the formula if a child has extraordinary educational expenses in place.
If a separating couple’s child or children attended (and still attend) private school prior to the parties agreeing to separate, there is a good chance that the court will determine that, in addition to paying child support, there is legal basis for the tuition to be paid by the parent that was initially footing the bill. Of course, if it is deemed acceptable for the tuition to be paid by one partner, said partner may request for his or her child support obligation to be reduced due to the additional tuition expenses. If the partner that has been paying the tuition refuses to pay tuition, then the opposing counsel can request additional child support in order to help cover the cost of their child’s or children’s private school tuition. While this can become a heated issue for both parties, the reason courts make this decision is because children typically experience, through no fault of their own, great emotional upheaval during a divorce process and a change in schools would likely exacerbate that. At the end of the day, the court places a high emphasis on the livelihoods of the children in the case.
In order to get the court to consider special circumstances when calculating child support, it is very important that you speak with a family law attorney. Do not just assume that the court will take certain variables into consideration. This is a process that takes time and that requires a solid argument in addition to evidence that will back that argument up. Schedule an appointment with The Gucciardo Law Firm today by calling (248) 723-5190 if you want to discuss your options in regards to having the court consider special circumstances when calculating the child support formula.
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