By Polly O’Toole
Yes, under certain circumstances. The private school must be a “proven need” of the child. The Dallas Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion stating, “To establish private school as a proven need, the evidence must show something special that makes the particular child need or especially benefit from some aspect of non-public schooling.”
The case is titled “In the Interest of V.J.A.O., a child” and was published on March 9, 2017. The Dad in this case was ordered to pay $5,000 per month in child support for one child, which is far above the maximum child support under the Guidelines set forth in the Texas Family Code, which is $1,710.00. A significant part of that total monthly child support award was to pay the cost of an expensive private school in Dallas. Every case is fact intensive and this one is no different, but this case makes it clear that courts can and do order parents to pay the cost of private school.