Do I have to pay for a school that I did not consent to?

Asked over 1 year ago - New York, NY

I have joint legal custody of my son. My ex wife enrolled my son in a private school that I did not want him to attend. She lives in Brooklyn & I live in queens. His current private school is in queens near by my apt. I wanted him to attend the near by public school because the stats show that it is a better school. All proof which I sent her. She didn't want to hear my opinion. So she enrolled him & said she wasn't asking for me to pay it. We already have a court ordered child support payment set up. Now she is taking me back to court because she wants me to pay for his school! How can I fight this & do I have to pay for it

Attorney answers (4)

  1. David Ivan Bliven

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . What does the Joint Custody agreement say about consent on schools? Typically, settlement agreements will stipulate that the non-custodial parent who has joint custody must consent to "educational issues," which often is construed to mean choice of schools. Thus, I'd suggest to file a counter-petition on the joint custody issue and have a Judge decide whether she violated the agreement (if it has such a provision). In any event, I encourage you to follow-up with a Child Custody/Support lawyer in your area.

  2. Lori Noel Bovee

    Contributor Level 13

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You may want to consider filing a petition to enforce the joint legal custody provisions of your divorce. If you have joint legal custody, you and your ex wife must make all major decision relating to his education together, including what school he goes to. She is clearly in violation of that, but you need to enforce it. It would be wise to speak with a local family law attorney before proceeding. Good luck.

  3. Maria C. Tebano

    Contributor Level 15

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . How old is the support order and how old is your son? The whole point behind joint legal custody is the ability of you and the mother to make joint decisions regarding the child's health and general welfare. In order to change the support order, she will have to show a change in circumstances, warrantly the modification. Children are not necessarily entitled to attend a private school, but the court will have to decide if private school tuition should be included in child support. Some factors courts look at include:

    •The child's best interests
    •The parents' ability to pay
    •The needs of the child
    •The length of past attendance at the private school
    •Public school options

  4. Lawrence Allen Weinreich

    Contributor Level 18

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You can fight it but you would need to speak with a famiy law attorney and show him your agreement and any communication you have had in regard to the matter.

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