Paying for Private Education with Child Support

Posted on July 26th, 2010, by James Livesay in Family Law. Comments Off on Paying for Private Education with Child Support

Is there anything you can do when you want your child to have a private education, but your ex doesn’t want to help pay the bill? It depends.

This is how child support works in Virginia: there is a presumptive amount of child support that is due to the primary custodial parent that is calculated using the gross incomes of the two parents. This presumptive amount of child support can be rebutted upon findings of fact, as required by Virginia Code Section 20-108.1(B), that justify a deviation from the guidelines.

Will a court deviate from the guidelines– order more child support than stated in the guidelines– to allow the custodial parent to send the child to private school? To answer this question, the Virginia Appellate Court has written that “a parent may be required to pay for private education expenses, even though such expenses exceed the guidelines, when there is a demonstrated need for the child to attend private school and the parent has the ability to pay.” Joynes v. Payne, 36 Va. App. 401 at 424, 551 S.E.2d 10 at 21 (2001) (quoting Ragsdale v. Ragsdale, 30 Va. App. 283 at 295, 516 S.E.2d 698 at 704 (1999).

So, if there is a demonstrated need for the child to attend private school, then a deviation from the guidelines might be in order. However, if you want your child to go to private school simply because you view private schools as better, but you can’t really afford it, the court probably won’t order more child support to help you foot the bill. Instead, you would need to consider getting a second job to pay the tuition.

The child support lawyers at Livesay & Myers, P.C. represent clients in Fairfax, Alexandria, Arlington, Stafford, Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg, Woodbridge and Manassas, Virginia. If you require assistance with a child support or other family law matter in Virginia, contact us to schedule a consultation today.

Share Button


Attorney James Livesay is a Partner at Livesay & Myers. After graduating from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1998, he began his legal career in the Navy JAG Corps, before entering private practice as a Virginia family lawyer in 2001. Along with partner Kevin Myers, Mr. Livesay founded Livesay & Myers in 2003. Today he advises the attorneys in each of the firm’s five offices.

Comments are closed.

Our Locations
Fairfax Office
3975 University Drive #325
Fairfax, VA 22030
Arlington Office
4250 Fairfax Drive #600
Arlington, VA 22203
Leesburg Office
113 E Market St #110
Leesburg, VA 20176
Manassas Office
9408 Grant Avenue #402
Manassas, VA 20110
Fredericksburg Office
303 Charlotte Street
Fredericksburg, VA 22401

We are still OPEN. We use email, phone and video conferencing to serve our clients remotely!

Learn More
X myStickymenu