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School fees orders upon divorce

School fees orders upon divorce may seem out of the reach of most people but the 2017 Spring budget includes a concession of free transport for pupils eligible for free meals and this may assist some to consider this option. Cheshire family law solicitors Stonehewer Moss explain how school fees orders work. Upon settling financial issues in divorce it is usual practice just to meet the needs of the parents from the assets available. Although orders for the benefit of children can be made they are not often considered. If a couple had a lifestyle with hopes of paying for school or the children are already at private paying schools, the Court can make what is known as periodical payments orders in the divorce financial remedies process that are expressed to be for the benefit of the child and ear marked for school fees. The order may be for part of the fees if other sources of help like grandparents are available. School fees orders are seen most often as agreed orders but there is nothing in principle preventing application if not agreed. It has to be affordable. The cost of making the application may be too much but legal services orders are available to fund such proceedings if the other parent can afford it and you have more than a fanciful case. The order can state the payment is in excess of child support as assessed. The court has no jurisdiction in most cases to make child maintenance orders. The parent making payment could request that he pay directly to the school bursar to prevent the risk of misallocation by the other parent. Realism is the key when deciding if it is proportionate to seek such an order. Effectively the payer will need spare resources over his child support liability. As average fees might be £12,000 per year and rising, the age of your child might be an factor. The payment need not be resourced from income if there is capital free to pay. The writer of this blog can see the benefit to parents who are not married but own a house in negotiating the post separation settlement based on agreement about potential school fees from the other parents capital share in the house but that is an issue for another day. School fees orders upon divorce are worth considering if the cuts in state school budgets in your locality reduce the quality of free education reasonably available. The writer had the benefit of state education and no tuition fees; a free education. If school fees orders are not realistic it may be worth considering help through university when child support ceases, as free education no longer truly exists. A child aged over 18 can seek financial help through higher and university education, perhaps looking to the other parent to provide a home at least during the vacations. Economically stronger parents should not consider child support as their only financial obligation.

For advice negotiation and representation in child finance cases or as part of divorce in Cheshire please call 01606 872200 e mail or visit


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Stonehewer Moss Solicitors, Citadel House, Solvay Road, Northwich, Cheshire, CW8 4DP

Solicitors in Northwich covering Chester, Crewe, Knutsford, Macclesfield, Middlewich, Northwich, Runcorn, Sandbach, Warrington, Winsford, and across Cheshire.

Stonehewer Moss Solicitors is a trading style of the Stonehewer Moss Limited, Registered in England No. 542 6583 and PIPLaw
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