General Rule Is Private School Tuition Is Not Covered by Oklahoma Child Support
Video Transcribed: Does child support cover private school tuition in Oklahoma? I’m Tulsa attorney, James Wirth, we’re doing a series related to child support questions in Oklahoma and that’s a question that we have. Private school tuition, is that covered in child support?
And the general rule is no. In Oklahoma, we’ve got the Oklahoma Child Support guidelines, you plug in certain factors, and it spits out the amount. The primary factors are going to be the parties’ incomes and then there are certain additional things that are added to that.
The cost of out-of-pocket costs for health insurance for the kids, out-of-pocket costs for daycare or childcare while the person is working. Those are going to be added on top. What is not generally added on top is private school tuition.
However, there is an exception. 99% of the time, perhaps, the courts go along with what the guidelines say, but there’s a statute related to deviating from those guidelines and that statute has a special provision related to special expenses that cover private school tuition.
So what it says, and that’s Title 43, Section 118-H, subsection H, and what it says is that private school tuition, camp, music, art lessons, travel, school-sponsored extracurricular activities, such as band, clubs, athletics, or other activities intended to enhance the athletic, social or cultural development of a child, but that are not otherwise provided in the guidelines, may be provided as a deviation, but in deciding whether to do that, the court’s going to look at whether there’s been a history of those expenditures, whether the parents have a financial ability to provide for them and whether the child has exhibited an extraordinary aptitude.
So, the general rule is private school tuition is not covered by Oklahoma child support guidelines. If the custodial parent that is deciding to school wants to put the child in a private school, then that parent is going to be responsible for it unless you can convince the court to deviate from the guidelines under subsection H here, where you argue that the parties have previously provided this, there’s a history, we want to keep this ongoing, that the parents can afford to pay this, both parents, obligor and the obligee.
And sometimes it helps to add that the child has an extraordinary aptitude for whatever the activity is. If it’s a private school just schooling in general, if it’s related to a certain extracurricular, then it’s going to be more specific.
But if you’ve got a question about child support in Oklahoma, don’t just watch these videos, talk to an attorney privately and confidentially to get legal advice, to get that scheduled with a Tulsa Child Support Collection Attorney at my office. You can go online to makelaweasy.com.