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Private school and child support

Divorcing spouses in Pennsylvania who have minor children often need to determine if one person will pay child support to the other and, if so, how much money will be paid every month. When evaluating this, it is always important that you have a clear understanding of the purpose for child support as there are some expenses that may be outside the scope of these payments. If you are the spouse who will receive child support, you will want to know what additional expenses you may be liable for on your own.

As explained by the Pennsylvania Code, the state uses a Basic Child Support Schedule to determine if child support is owed by one parent and how much that parent should pay. This schedule is based on the fundamental needs and rights of children so that kids are ensured a proper place to live, clothes to wear and food to eat. Children are also acknowledged the right to an education so purchasing school supplies, for example, may be a reasonable use of child support funds.

However, tuition for private school is not part of the Basic Child Support Schedule. If you wish your children to attend private school, you may need to petition the court. If the court finds the request reasonable, then it may be part of a child support award. 

If you would like to learn more about what child support payments are intended to be used for and what is not originally included in them, please feel free to visit the financial care of children page of our Pennyslvania divorce and family law website.