In New Jersey, calculations for child support are based on numerous factors, including the number of children, percentage of parenting time, and each parent's gross taxable income. These factors are plugged into a formula set by New Jersey Courts Rule 5:6A, which is explained in detail at http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/csguide/index.htm. The calculated amount, however, is not the final judgement since the court must consider many other circumstances that are specific to your marriage. For example, your child support order may need to include terms for private school tuition at the elementary and secondary levels.
If your children are already attending private schools, you and your spouse probably agree that it's best to let them stay there. On the other hand, you may be interested in putting your children in private schools, while your spouse wants to keep them in the public schools. With the average private school tuition in New Jersey being $12,645 for the 2015-2016 school year, you can see why this would be a common dispute among divorcing parents. If you plan on appealing to the court, you should be aware that private school during the elementary and secondary years is generally considered an extraordinary expense. This means that it goes beyond expenses like food, shelter and clothing, which are necessary for a child's survival. While the courts agree that a quality education is necessary, they believe that there are sufficient educational opportunities available through the public school system.
This doesn't mean that the courts always rule against child support payments for private education. Judges must ultimately consider the child's best interests, which in some cases, cannot be met by the local public schools. This is often the case with children who have physical an or mental disabilities, or those with significant psychological issues that require a more personalized curriculum. You may also wish to place your child in a parochial school that reflects the religious values of your household. Parochial, as well as private schools may also be the best option for children who live in the inner city, or in other areas with inadequate public school systems. Even if the children are able to obtain scholarships, they typically need financial support for additional expenses such as books, uniforms, and commuting costs.
The truth is, there are no definitive rules on the type and level of education that a parent must provide for a child. Support for college expenses, for example, depends on many factors, including the child's aptitude and commitment, and the quality of the relationship between the child and parent. If you and your spouse are in dispute over your children's education, your best option is to speak with a family law attorney. While you cannot be guaranteed a certain result, an attorney with extensive trial experience can give you an idea of how judges are currently ruling on this issue. A family law attorney can also give you the most effective representation possible should you decide to plead your case in court.