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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34105
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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A friend of mine has just split up from her long term of 14

Customer Question

A friend of mine has just split up from her long term of 14 years partner. They have a 6 year old son. The child attends a private school and has done for over a year before the break up. The school will become a free school in September. Fees were paid out of my friends account, but her partner made contributions to the fees as part of other financial commitments they had made together. Should the school fees be included in their financial settlement after the split?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Do you mean does the ex partner HAVE to pay towards the school fees?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, I guess so. There is some clear information on the amount of maintenance to pay, but the school fees is something we can't find information on. There is some information on maintaining the living standards of the child, but that is not specifically school fees.

This is a short time thing as the school will be a free school in September 2015, so it is only 9 months tops.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How much does the father earn?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

£30,500

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
is he willing to share payment of the school fees?
Did he agree to the child attending Private school?
How much does the mother earn?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

They decided together that the child should go to private school, and he has been paying 50% of the fees as part of his housekeeping etc to his former partner. The mother earns £10k pa, plus has other income from other maintenance payments of about £1k per month

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Are they negotiating a private financial settlement or is it likely that your friend will have to apply to the CMS for evidence?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Attempting to negotiate at the moment, but she wants to gather information firSt. I think it will end up as a private settlement

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
There is no automatic requirement for the father to pay the school fees, or half of them on top of the Child Maintenance so it is important that your friend gets a clear commitment from her ex to pay these
Technically it is possible to make an application under Schedule 1 of the Children Act for them to be paid but frankly it is far from certain that the court would make the order given his relatively limited income.
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare

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