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Vancouver Surrey Child Mobility Relocation Lawyers

Child Support Private School Reimbursement Lawyers help out medium to high net worth families obtain a fair child support settlement and fairly share special and extraordinary expenses. Our lawyers have been ranked as the top* Vancouver family law firm for 4 of the last 5 years and the last three years straight. Our Child Support Private School Fees Lawyers explain there is no automatic entitlement to special and extraordinary expenses including private school fees.

So what is the test the court applies to decide if a child goes or remains in private school after separation? In today’s blog renowned blog author Tal Wolf explains. Meeting with Tal or any of our seasoned family lawyers is a key first step to finding a fair solution.

Child Support Private School Fees Lawyers 604 602 9000

You already know that child support is one of the most common and important issues for separating couples who have children.  But for middle to high income spouses who chose during the relationship to invest a significant part of their household income in private education for their children, and especially where doing so was the result of a hard-fought struggle with the more reluctant bread-winning spouse, making sure the tuition bills are going to continue to be funded often represents an even larger financial dispute. 

In many situations, the Child Support Private School Fees Lawyers at MacLean Law can help make sure your kids will not have to change schools just because their parents have separated, and that they will continue to receive the very best education that the overall household budget can afford to them for the remainder of their elementary and secondary school years.

Under s. 7(1.1) of the Federal Child Support Guidelines, “extraordinary” expenses for education are those that:

  • a) exceed those that the spouse requesting payment can reasonably cover, or
  • b) are extraordinary taking into account the nature and number of the educational programs and extracurricular activities; any special needs and talents of the child; the overall cost of the programs and activities; and other relevant factors.

New Case Explained 

In this month’s BC Supreme Court decision styled as S.K. v. G.R., 2018 BCSC 1758, the claimant acknowledged that she was able to pay for the cost of private schooling. Hence, she needed to satisfy the second prong of the test.  The Court’s analysis is summarized here:

69      In L.H.M.K. v. B.P.K., 2012 BCSC 435, Justice Brown summarized the authorities as they relate to the treatment of private school fees under s. 7:

[128] Private school fees are generally considered extraordinary educational expenses under s. 7(l)(d) of the Guidelines: Crofton v. Sturko, [1998] B.C.J. No. 38 (S.C.). In Cochrane v. Zarins, (1998), 36 R.F.L. (4th) 434 (B.C.C.A.), the Court considered the following factors to determine whether or not to allow private schooling fees as extraordinary expenses: (a) the parents’ history of private schooling; (b) the children’s history of private pre-schooling; and (c) the ability of the non-custodial parent to pay for the expense.

[129] In Van Deventer v. Van Deventer, 2000 BCCA 9, the Court allowed private school fees under s. 7 because the parent opposing the expenses was content to have the child attend private school when the parties were together, and there was no change in circumstances to which the opposing parent could point to establish that the expense was no longer necessary or reasonable.

70      The L.H.M.K. factors apply to this case as follows:

a) The parents’ history of private schooling: Neither parent attended private school.

b) The children’s history of private pre-schooling: At the time of the Settlement Agreement, I.Z. had not yet attended private school. I.Z. was only in private school at the time of the Final Order due to the Settlement Agreement’s term forbearing the claimant’s right to pursue the respondent for financial contribution to this expense. In L.H.M.K, the children had been in private school for years prior to the separation.

c) The ability of the non-custodial parent to pay for the expense: I accept that the respondent has the ability to pay his share of this expense, although the income stream from property development can be variable.

In S.K., the claimant also asked the Court to look to the history of the parties’ discussions regarding private school.The court accepted that it was entitled to consider this evidence as part of the broader list of factors in the Guidelines. However, given the above regarding the parties’ intentions, in this particular case it found that the evidence did not support the acceptance of private school as an appropriate section 7 expense.

Child Support Private School Fees Lawyers – 604 602 9000

The Court also emphasized the lack of evidence that the child had any unique talents or needs requiring a private school education. The only need proposed was that the child “already built a social network at her current school.” But this argument was found to have reversed the rule of “cause and effect”, because it was only the claimant’s decision to put the child in private school at her own expense that created this social network in the first place.

Call Our Top* Child Support Private School Fees Lawyers Now At 604 602 9000

We have found here a case underscoring the fact that an order for reimbursement of private school tuition by your spouse should not be taken for granted.  Contact the Special / Extraordinary Expense Lawyers at MacLean Law’s Vancouver office to help make sure you present the best evidence and argument in support of this all-important component of your child’s future. Our Child Support Private School Reimbursement Lawyers will help you and your children resolve this important issue so you can move forward successfully.

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