Child support is ordered to ensure every parent fulfills their responsibility to care and provide for their children after separation or divorce.

Basic child support is meant to cover the basic cost of caring for and raising a child. State guidelines require this amount to reflect:

  • the incomes of the parents, and
  • how much residential time each parent has because during that time they are responsible for covering basic day-to-day expenses like food and transportation.

The parent receiving the child support, generally the primary custodial parent, who has the child more than half the time, is responsible for using that support to cover many costs of raising a child like:

  • food,
  • shelter,
  • clothing,
  • general entertainment, and
  • access to a quality education.

This does not mean child support has to cover the cost of sending your child to an expensive school but even a free public education comes with extra costs like activity fees and school supplies.

If you are a parent, you know how much all those costs can add up over the course of a school year. Child support is meant to cover those expenses so your child can take advantage of the education they are provided.

Does Child Support Include Private School Tuition?

Typically, child support does not cover private school tuition.

If you want to send your child to private school and would like that included in the child support order, you have several options. First, if there is no child support order, you can petition the court to include private school tuition when making the order. If an order exists, you will have to seek a modification of that order to include private school tuition.

What if You Want Your Child to Attend Private School?

Many parents choose to send their children to private schools. If you do not live near a quality public school, this is an important step you can take to ensure your child has every chance in life for success. The costs of private school tuition, however, can exceed what child support can cover.

If both you and your child’s other parent have been in agreement about the importance of sending your child to a certain private school and the child support amount awarded does not cover that cost, you can ask for extra child support be awarded for this reason. The courts may have you split the cost with the other parent either 50/50 or through a percentage based off of your two incomes.

What if the Other Parent Does Not Want to Pay for Private School?

If the other parent does not want to pay for private school tuition, contact an attorney to discuss your options for obtaining such an award. You can also ask for post-secondary support if you want the child’s other parent to help pay for your child’s post-secondary education. If this is your intent, consult with an experienced Los Angeles family law attorney for instructions on how to ask for this kind of support.

Can Non-Custodial Parent Be Forced to Pay for Private School?

Yes. California courts have the authority to order a non-custodial parent to pay for private school. With that said, the custodial parent will need to make a strong showing as to why private school is necessary for the child(ren).

Contact Fernandez & Karney for Assistance Today

Are you in Los Angles County and have some questions about child support and your child’s education? Certified Family Law Specialist Steven Fernandez has experience with complex child support issues and knows how to ensure your child’s best interests are looked out for.

Representing individuals in Los Angeles and surrounding areas, Steven Fernandez will listen to your case and, based off your needs, will take action to ensure you receive the outcome you deserve. Call our office at 310-564-5710; email us at or contact us through our online form today to schedule a free consultation.