Where are the children currently educated?
Are the children already in attendance at a private school, or is it intended they would move to one or start at a new one?If they already attend the school, they may have significant ties there.Moving to a new school now may cause unnecessary upheaval when they are already dealing with the upset of their parents separating.
What were the parents’ intentions?
Was it always agreed between the parents that their children would attend private school?Perhaps siblings already attend private school or one of the parents went to that school.
If there are limited resources to pay for school fees, then a court is likely to view them as a luxury rather than a necessity.This is particularly pertinent given the current climate.The basic housing needs of a child will always come as a priority and a court will not leave a parent in financial difficulty in order to meet school fees.The court will take into account all financial circumstances between the parents when deciding if a contribution order should be made.If one parent could easily afford to continue to pay school fees and the other parent has more limited resources, then the court is likely to make a contribution order against the wealthier parent.
Refusal to pay school fees
If a parent can afford to pay for their children’s school fees but simply decides not to continue paying, then the court will be critical of the refusal unless a very good reason is given. Thus, if it is just a wilful refusal by the paying parent without any good reason, then the court can enforce the terms of a court order.