Private School Fees Not Covered By Child Support

Q: My husband and I are going through a divorce and I have custody of our three children who are all enrolled in Christian schools. Will the Judge make my husband responsible for some of the tuition payments or other school costs?

A: Child Support laws in Michigan require that the “Payor,” (the person required to pay support) pay a set amount of support based on a complicated, state wide formula. That formula basically deals with the base support (for food, clothing, shelter, etc.), a percentage of child care expenses (up to age 12) and a percentage of uninsured health care costs.

Until the legislature amends the law, parochial school tuition (including charter school fees, Christian school fees, books, uniforms athletic fees and so forth) is not part of the support obligation.

If, however, your husband agrees to pay the tuition payments or other school costs (including college costs later) and the agreement is made part of a judgment or support order, it becomes a binding contract and the Court can make him live up to what he agreed to do.

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