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What are extraordinary education expenses under child support?

On Behalf of | May 7, 2024 | Family Law |

While Indiana has a set of guidelines for determining a fair amount of child support, these guidelines do not always calculate every variable. Many factors impact how much will be paid in child support. One is education.

In cases where there are extraordinary education expenses, the court will assess the circumstances to decide whether it is appropriate or not. Then it will adjust the support order accordingly. The parents must be up to date on how this is handled regardless of their perspective as the paying parent or the receiving parent.

Extraordinary education expenses are not automatically covered

Since the objective of child support is to serve the child’s best interests, that generally means they should get the best education possible. Still, that does not automatically mean optional extraordinary costs for it will be covered in the support order. Of course, if it is a special needs child, their schooling will be part of the support arrangement.

With extraordinary expenses, it can be for any level of schooling. The expenses are not open-ended. They will be for private schools, special schools, trade schools or other specialized institutions based on the goals.

The court will not simply order extraordinary education expenses to be paid without asking for evidence as to its necessity. For example, a parent might want their child to go to a private middle school, but if might just be based on their preference and not because it is absolutely required for the child’s basic education. Each side will need to present their case about the need and cost.

The court will also be at its discretion when ordering the support order adjusted for a post-secondary education. The parents’ income, financial aid options and other financial matters will be part of the determination.

Education and other unusual considerations often arise in divorce

Extraordinary education expenses are just one area that might not come to the forefront when thinking about child support and other family law concerns. It does not make it any less vital. This is an example of a challenge that many families face and are unsure of how to come to a reasonable resolution. Being prepared and knowing what is needed is critical to crafting a positive outcome for the parents and the child.