For parents in many parts of Virginia, there are many terrific options for private schools. Many parents who are considering divorce often wonder whether or not their children can continue to attend these schools after the divorce. The oft-unfavorable but true answer is: it depends.
Under Virginia’s Child Support Guidelines, there isn’t anything pertaining to the costs of private school. For this reason, unless the parties come to their own agreement, when one parent wishes for the court to consider the cost of private school, he or she must seek “Child Support Deviation.”
Child Support Deviation
Child Support Deviation is essentially a request that the court deviates from what is the presumed amount of child support. In fact, under Virginia Code §20-108(B), the presumptive amount of child support can be rebutted and may deviate from its original amount. The court considers multiple different factors when coming to this decision. These factors include anything that would impact each party to provide child support and what is in the best interest of the child.
Exceeding Presumptive Child Support
Even when expenses do exceed the presumptive amount of child support, a parent may still be required to pay for their child’s private school education when:
- There is demonstrated a need for the child to attend a private school; and
- The parent is able to pay.
In coming to this determination, the court will also look at a number of other factors:
- Are there a number of other decent public schools available?
- What was the child’s attendance at the private school before the divorce?
- Does the child have any special physical or emotional needs that must be met?
- Is the child attending a private institution for religious training?
- Is it a family tradition to attend the school in question?
The Court Must Consider All Factors
In order to answer these questions appropriately, you must be able to present evidence. The court is then obligated to take a look at and consider all of the factors as listed in the statute in order to come to its decision. However, the court is not obligated to weigh any of these factors in a certain manner; it is up to the court itself.
Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC Can Help Those in VA Who Are Dealing with Divorce and Other Related Issue
If you are considering divorcing your spouse, it can have a big impact on you and your family. It can affect various aspects of your life and the lives of your children, such as their ability to continue receiving a private education. Going through a divorce can be an extremely emotional time – one which you should not have to go through alone. It’s in your best interest to speak with a qualified family law attorney at Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC. We understand what’s at stake and will work to protect what is in the best interest of you and your family. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!
Posted in: Divorce