Child support—school fees
  • Child support—school fees
  • Case law
  • Procedure

The court retains jurisdiction to make an order that a non-resident parent (NRP), or person by whom the relevant child has been treated as a child of the family, should either pay or make a contribution towards the costs of a child receiving instruction at an educational establishment, or undergoing training for a trade, profession or vocation (whether or not while in gainful employment). Most commonly such orders relate to the payment of private school fees.

In the case of school fees, the application will usually need to show that either the child is already being educated privately or that there has been an agreement between the parties that the child would be privately educated. It may also be a valid argument that other children of the NRP are being, or have been, privately educated, and therefore it is appropriate for the child to be treated in the same way as their siblings.

A school fees order may provide for payment to be made direct to say, the school bursar, who would be ‘such person as may be specified in the order’ (see section 23(1)(d) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (MCA 1973)).

Case law

It has been noted that ‘private education is a luxury and must be balanced against the welfare and needs of all of the family’, but regard will