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Judge rejects extra tuition claim in divorce

The High Court has rejected a woman’s claim for £60,000 per year for extra tuition.

During her divorce from a wealthy husband, the mother claimed that her two teenage children needed significant tutoring outside of normal school hours. She wanted an annual payment of £150,000 to cover all costs relating to the two, including their extra education.

Meanwhile, her ex-husband thought this was too much. He disagreed with the mother’s position and insisted there was “no evidence that [they] need the degree of extra tuition which they are currently receiving”.

The father already paid around £75,000 per year for the two children to attend private school. However, he said he would still be willing to fund extra tutoring if it was necessary.

Mrs Justice Roberts said the mother’s claim for tuition costs was “unrealistic in terms of the time available to these children outside their normal school hours”. Due to the intensive studying that their mother made them do, the judge wondered if “these two young people had any opportunity simply to enjoy being teenagers”. Based on their schedule, they did not appear to have much time “left in their busy lives for normal healthy socialising with their peers”, she added.

The judge ruled that a total of £35,000 per year for each child was “an appropriate level of financial support” based on their needs. However, she added that the father had to pay extra for any tuition deemed necessary by the school, as he had previously agreed. Anything beyond what was strictly necessary, however, was the mother’s responsibility.

Read the judgment here.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Ricky says:

    Some people just throw money awsy. Tome with your kids is free and priceless.

  2. James says:

    A good rule of thumb for private education and extracurricular lessons is that a court will not hesitate to deviate if the child would have enjoyed this type of education had the marriage stayed intact.

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