Skip to main content

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

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

+ Read More

Attorney answers 4


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.

I hope you found this answer helpful and if so, please let me know by clicking the "Mark as Helpful" button at the bottom of this answer. It’s easy and appreciated. You can also choose a "best answer" if you wish. This is easy to do and greatly appreciated.

* This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy.

This advice is not meant to create an attorney-client relationship and is a general anwer to the question posed.


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.


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



My son is 4 & the order is 3 years old. His private school is less then 5 mintues away from my house & the public school. She takes him to a babysitter that she also wants me to pay. The baby sister then walks him to school. My fight was that I can take him to school & pick him up! But she refuses to compromise because I live with my girlfriend. She doesn't let me make any decisions regarding his education or health.

Maria C. Tebano

Maria C. Tebano


Then you need to file a violation petition because she is refusing to discuss issues with you. Consider also filing a petition to modify custody so that you can take him to school and pick him up if your schedule permits. His circumstances have changed so take a chance at a change. I think that you can definitely fight the school issue.


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.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer