Educational decisions

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-10-2006
Educational decisions
Wed, 12-06-2006 - 1:27pm
Should both parents pay for the child to attend a private school (if the decision was made by the primary only) and or college (if one parent didn't have input on which)? What if the child has the opportunity for special education, advanced sports or music teams, and the like? What if one parent disagrees with the activity (interferring with school perhaps)? What if the parents have younger children from a second marriage they can't afford to do the same for so they don't want to do it for the older children? Is that fair?
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 12-06-2006 - 1:39pm

Unless the expense is neccessary (tutoring mandated by the school, medical treatment), both parents agree and both pay. We don't pay for activities BM has enrolled SD in without telling us. (She was in soccer, but we never got a schedule or game information).
We haven't been faced with this situation yet, but if there's an activity SD wants to do that BM can't/won't pay for, we are ok with paying for the whole thing, so long as DH is involved in the decision.

You don't enroll a child in something that meets on the other parents' time unless it has been discussed and approved.

We will have this issue. BM is in a different economic place an allocates more money to "stuff." We value experiences more and allocate our resources so she can play sports or have lessons when she's older. SD is already better traveled than her younger brother and probably will continue to be. I already think SD is being held out of some things because her mom can't afford it for her brother. We really want to take her skiing next year. That won't be an option for her brother. Is it unfair? Sort of. When DH & I have children, we plan to do these things with them, so it's then unfair to SD that she can't.

Even in my own family, what activities we were able to participate in depended on my parents' financial situation at the time. It nosedived when I was older but my brother was still young, and he didn't get to do swim team or go on vacation because there was no money. It wasn't fair, and my parents didn't intend it to be that way, but it worked out that way.

Avatar for sunflowergirl2
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-28-2003
Wed, 12-06-2006 - 1:49pm

If it's in the best interest of the child then I think both parents should help pya-if they can.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-10-2006
Wed, 12-06-2006 - 2:02pm
I think in intact families there is a more willingness between the parents to look down the road and figure if the younger child can't do X activity then they probably won't enroll the older child. Private school is a good example. You could afford to send one to private school, but if you have 2 kids and can't afford to send both you probably won't enroll the first one to begin with kwim? But in blended family, if you are sending the older ones to private school but can't afford to send your younger children to private school should you still pay for the older ones? Or maybe you can afford to send the younger and older to private school but the older one wants to do some expensive sport or perhaps even just go to college but if you paid for that you wouldn't be able to continue to send your younger children to private school. So do you let the older one get a job and apply for student aid to go to college or because they were there first do you provide for them first and whatever you can do for the subsequent children comes after that. Some say the first marriage children come first. Period. KWIM? Or maybe you are remarried and the guy you remarried makes lots of money and buys lots of stuff for the younger kids for which the older children see. Do you allow him to spoil the younger without buying equally for the older? Such as buying a car when they turn 16? Or do you tell him he can't unless he is willing to do the same for the older?
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 12-06-2006 - 2:54pm

This should be spelled out in the Agreement/Order. If "joint" custody is ordered, then education is something that must be a joint decision.
I don't think one parent can decide to send a child to private school and make the other pay for it without an agreement.

As for activities that are school related, also in my Order. 50% to be paid by him for ANYTHING school related.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Wed, 12-06-2006 - 4:27pm

DH's decree says that BM doesn't get anything extra besides CS except SD's insurance premium and half of uninsured medical expenses. So nothing extra for daycare, private school, girl scouts, ballet, etc, etc, etc.

However, if BM came to DH about private school and wanted to see if DH could help pay AND if DH agreed, I say cool. It's outside the decree, but if he wanted to do that and our family budget could handle it, cool. But BM can't sign SD up for private school and expect to get 50% of the tuition without prior agreement. She would be SOL.

I fully expect that DS (almost 2) won't be able to do the same kinds of things that SD gets to do. Fair? No, but that's life. One of the reasons why DH and I have decided not to have another child together is because it would negatively impact our ability to see SD as much as we would like (she lives 1200 miles away) and would negatively impact our ability to fund whatever DS decides to get into as he gets older. We want to do what's best for SD and DS with what money we have.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-03-2006
Wed, 12-06-2006 - 10:03pm

If BM called and said "I'm putting in private school, hand me some cash" I have a feeling DH would literally laugh in her face. She has brought up private school many, many times already and SS is only 2 years old. The CO says nothing about obligations re: private school and/or college. The way we see it whatever is done for SS will be what is done for our own kids when we have them and vice versa. DH and I would like to have 2 or 3 kids of our own (after I have one that number may change, hehe...but we'll see) and we certainly aren't going to foot the entire bills for 3-4 children to go to private school and college.

If SS gets involved in sports or whatever, of course we'll help pay for what we need to...once again this is only as long as (as PP stated) we know about it ahead of time AND DH is "allowed" to be involved. I wouldn't put it past BM to "forget" to give him the schedule and what not, so I see conflicts arising.



iVillage Member
Registered: 09-14-2003
Wed, 12-06-2006 - 10:11pm
The primary can pay for whatever CS will cover unless the other parent agrees to it. CS should be inclusive.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-11-2004
Wed, 12-06-2006 - 10:22pm

If both parents can agree on the activity/school then yeah they can split the cost

But if one parent wants to enroll the child in something then they need to be responsible to the cost, getting them there etc if the other parent cant/wont agree to or commit to it.

bm in our case wants the kids in TONS of crap. Maybe to make dh fork over money just for the powre trip. Maybe because she feels that 'doing stuff' makes her kids look important.

since weve had the kids full time weve had NO extra activities and their grades came up fromd d's to almost A B honor roll! I always disagreed with letting them pla sports, dance class etc with rotten grades and bad attitudes.

AND I got sick of bm never giving us notice on stuff, just seemed to have her hand out when money was due.

so maybe im bitter

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-14-2003
Wed, 12-06-2006 - 10:33pm

"bm in our case wants the kids in TONS of crap. Maybe to make dh fork over money just for the powre trip. Maybe because she feels that 'doing stuff' makes her kids look important. "

That is so funny that you say that! We pay for my OSD to be in a very expensive sport. We pay 100% of it. Have since she started except for about 4 months when BM "helped" when she could. But BM is the one that takes her & is the "gym mom" with the other parents. The gym has a problem with parents getting behind in payments. BM made a comment to me when she emailed the parents' group report that "we" always pay on time so it's not an issue. Uh, we? But she loves being the team parent.

That's fine. I don't care. OSD gets to do her sport. I do get annoyed that BM tells OSD that she is "her expensive child" because of this sport (we pay) & her braces (MY insurance paid most & we paid for half out of pocket).