What can you do if your husband does not want to pay school fees for his children when you are divorced?
First, it is not necessarily a given that a divorced parent must pay for a child’s school fees. I don’t know the law for all jurisdictions, of course, but in the jurisdiction where I practice divorce and family law (Utah), there is no law that expressly requires the parents to share the cost of the child’s school fees.
Second, in the jurisdiction where I practice divorce and family law (Utah), unless the parents are awarded joint physical custody* of the child(ren), the child support obligor parent (meaning the parent who is obligated to pay child support to the other parent) is not required to pay for anything over and above the monthly base child support obligation amount.
Even when parents are awarded joint physical custody of children, that does not necessarily guarantee that the parents must share the children’s school fees. First, they are fees that a student must pay as a condition of being enrolled in school, but there are many other optional fees that a student may incur but is not required to incur. A joint physical custodial parent in Utah who has a monthly base child support payment obligation is required to do as follows, when it comes to child support obligations other than/in addition to the base monthly Child support amount:
(3) “Joint physical custody”:
(a) means the child stays with each parent overnight for more than 30% of the year, and both parents contribute to the expenses of the child in addition to paying child support;
(See Utah Code section 30-3-10.1(3)(a))
Could the phrase “both parents contribute to the expenses of the child in addition to paying child support” be any more ambiguous? It’s hard to imagine how it could be. And yet that is the law in the state of Utah for joint physical custodial parents. So while it is by no means black letter law that joint physical custodial parents in Utah must share the costs of their children’s school fees, it is likely a safe bet that a court would, if the issue arose, order a child support obligor parent to pay, in addition to monthly base child support, a portion (likely half) of a school’s fees that must be paid so that a child can be enrolled in school.
*In Utah, joint physical custody does not mean joint equal custody (50/50), it means, “the child stays with each parent overnight for more than 30% of the year,” which means that the child spends no less than 111 overnights with a parent.
Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277