Blog

Private School Costs in New Jersey Divorces

In a New Jersey case where the parties’ agreement calls for them to “equally divide…school costs,” and one party does not contribute to the costs for years, even though not explicitly asked to do so, a court can enforce the agreement and compel contribution. In the unpublished Appellate Division case of Fanelli v. Hnatowski, the court held that great deference must be afforded to parties’ agreements.  The terms of the agreement must be enforced when the terms of the agreement are clear.

The court held that “school costs” as defined in the agreement included private school.  Defendant’s failure to object to the children’s attendance in private school over nine years operated as implicit consent. In this application, Plaintiff did not seek reimbursement for 50% of the private school costs for the nine-year period during which Defendant failed to contribute.  However, Plaintiff did seek 50% of the tuition and costs moving forward. The court granted the application and ordered enforcement of the agreement and an equal contribution to private school.

The strong public policy in New Jersey is to enforce agreements. As one of our courts primary concerns is to protect our children, they often err on the side of protecting children’s financial interests.

Please contact me at jlawrence@lawlawfirm.com if you have questions about this post or any other family law matter.

Subscribe to Our Blog

SHARE THIS POST:

Related Posts

Blog
We Hope to Eradicate the “not established” Standard

Every year, there are approximately 90,000 allegations of child abuse and neglect in New Jersey. Of  cases reported in 2019, 67,000 were determined to be “not established” by the State’s Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P). The determination of “not established” is problematic and not much of a legal standard.  The “not established” category…

Read More
Blog
Is January Really “Divorce Month?”

“Divorce Month” Fact or Fiction: Do More Couples Split in January? was a recent article that I came across in the New York Times. The article discusses the belief that January is the busiest month of the year for divorce filings. The article’s information is consistent with my experiences after practicing family law for many…

Read More
Blog
One Year!

One year into owning and running my own firm has been exhilarating, amazing, exhausting with a million other emotions in between. When the news was first announced, many of my friends, who are also solo and small firm owners, reached out to me to try and prepare me for the wild ride I was about…

Read More
Blog
Divorce Consultations – Are You Prepared?

I spend a significant of my day providing initial divorce consultations. This is the most important time I will spend with a potential client. In these consultations, many of the people that come see me are understandably emotional and focused on the part of the relationship that led them to my office. More often than…

Read More
Blog
Divorce Issues for New Jersey and Federal Government Officials

For many of us, the first time that we heard of family issues affecting government officials started with the philandering of President Clinton. These days, the media feeds us the personal and private affairs of former Congresswoman Katie Hill and former FBI lawyer, Lisa Page, among others. Going through a divorce is a stressful time…

Read More
Blog
What is Emancipation in New Jersey?

As a general matter, New Jersey parents must pay child support until the emancipation of a child. Emancipation is a term that describes the occurrence of an event wherein a child has moved beyond the “sphere of influence” of his or her parents. In other words, emancipation is the act by which a parent relinquishes…

Read More
Call Now ButtonCall Us