07 May School Fees
These are largely covered in child support related matters.
Occasionally a school fee liability exists at separation, in which case that is something factored into the property settlement between the parents, however beyond existing debts or those that accumulate with the school prior to settlement or finalisation of the property settlement, school fees fall into a rather grey-ish area.
There is no law, despite some of our client’s recent protestations that requires one parent to contribute to private school fees and associated costs and/or that parents must share in those costs.
The school fees are simply paid by the person able and/or willing to pay them and, if there is a dispute about who pays, then often this results in the children having to attend either a more affordable school or a non-private one.
Whilst school fee costs can be used to either increase or decrease the periodic amount a parent pays/receives in child support through the Child Support Agency’s change of assessment in special circumstances process, it is always wise to negotiate, agree and document who is to pay what regarding school fees. This takes the guess work out of the equation, provides certainty for the parents and the children and it then becomes one less thing to argue or worry about later.