Working Education Costs into Parenting and Child Support Plans
You cannot separate education from a child’s life. Think it like trying to extract a career from an adult’s lifestyle and perception his or her role in society. When you first meet somebody, one of the first questions you ask is “what do you do?” For a child, school is what he or she “does.” Because of this, a child’s academic needs are considered heavily when the court develops an appropriate parenting plan for him or her. And although child support orders are created using a formula, special academic needs can force the court to deviate from this formula.
Child Support can be Used to Cover School Expenses
For most children, school expenses include:
- School supplies;
- School clothing; and
- Occasionally, field trips and other special events.
In some cases, a child needs far more support for his or her education. This can be the case when a child attends private school and needs parental support for tuition and uniforms of when the child has a severe mental or physical disability that requires him or her to attend a specialized school.
Your Child’s Academic Needs Are Considered when Your Parenting Plan Is Developed
When the court develops a parenting plan, it does so with the child’s best interest in mind. It reaches the arrangement that best suits a child’s needs by considering a variety of factors, such as the effect of disrupting the child’s current routine and all the academic opportunities available to him or her.
Ways a child’s academic needs might factor into this decision include:
- Whether moving the child to a different school or district by living primarily with one parent would afford him or her better academic opportunities;
- Whether the opportunities that can come with changing schools outweigh the potential drawbacks of disrupting the child’s established routine;
- Each parent’s day-to-day involvement with the child’s school needs, such as helping with homework and meeting with teachers;
- If the child is old enough to voice a well-reasoned opinion, his or her preference of school; and
- Logistically, how the child’s academic schedule meshes with a proposed parenting time breakdown.
The court may grant both parents the right to make educational decisions on the child’s behalf or give this responsibility solely to one parent.
Work with an Experienced St. Charles Family Lawyer
A child’s education is a fundamental part of his or her life. Your child spends a significant portion of his or her time in school, and the quality of instruction there, its atmosphere, and the support he or she gets at home can all have lasting impacts on his or her life, perspective, and the opportunities he or she will have as an adult. Discuss your child’s educational needs in the context of his or her parenting and child support plans with an experienced Kane County family lawyer to better prepare yourself to be an involved parent. Contact Shaw Family Law, P.C. today to set up your initial consultation in our office. Reach out to us today by calling 630-584-5550.