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Withdrawing Private School Fee Funding

Chantelle2020's picture

My first time posting here, hope it's in the right spot! I'm in NSW, Australia. My partner has two kids, 8 and 10 to ex-wife.

They attended public schooling until last year, when the BM phoned my partner saying their son was sexually harassed at school by another student and insisted they be pulled out and sent to private schooling. 

We are big public school advocates however BM was beside herself and after a long discussion my partner agreed to private schooling, and would voluntarily pay half the school fees (this is entirely separate to child support. He pays this voluntarily as well as child support). 

We later found out after my partner met with the school principal of their prior public school that the story was VERY much inflated by BM and the situation was handled very appropriately by the school. I won't go in to detail but basically with the new information we found out, we would have been comfortable keeping them in their original school and we both concluded BM inflates this story on purpose to suit her narrative and get her own way. 

One year in to private schooling, the kids grades are shocking, their behaviour is appalling, their social skills are undoubtedly worse. I'm talking a HUGE decline. My partner decided the private schooling had no greater benefits, we've seen a huge decline in every area, and he decided to pull his funding. This decision was also made due to his work situation drastically changing and he now earns a far lower income than when they first enrolled.

Him and BM both have their names on the application and the fee agreement. He asked before signing if he no longer wanted to be a part of the fee schedule or application could he remove his name and was told yes. Now after notifying the school he wanted to remove his name and funding, they've said BM has to agree to re-enrol the kids under her name only and work out a payment schedule. If she doesn't, he has to keep paying. HOW can this be? So basically he is bound to pay until they hit 18? Has anyone had any experience in this type of situation? 

We have contacted the school business manager who has basically said there are no set policies or procedures for this matter. It's been 10 weeks since my partner gave notice and we're still at a stand still. They currently are not charging him but if BM turns around and says unequivocally she won't re-enrol them just under her name, what do we do???

The ombudsman is our next step but if anyone has had any experience in this type of situation that would be so helpful. 




shamds's picture

for starters it is the dads right to withdraw his support to funding private school and if exwife has no money to afford it, tough... is there some written agreement with the school that he is financially responsible??

plenty of people withdraw kids from school and if your husband says he is no longer covering the costs from this point forwards, it means they should remove his name and deal solely with the wife... 

i call bs on them claiming bio mum must sign off on this... they can’t hold him to ransom for fees when he has said he wants kids withdrawn and back in public and if bio mum wants them in private, they deal with her

my parents sent us to private school and if you didn’t have the money to pay before start of semester, then you were kicked out of school. Your partner needs to send a written letter stating that due to deteriorating grades and also due to the state of economy and lower salary, that he is not going to be funding private school anymore. They can deal with bio mum.

i doubt a court in nsw will force him to pay up since so many people are out of jobs. 

No private school can force you for life to send your kids there... defies logic. You don’t have the funds to pay in advance, tough.

does your husband know the name of person he deat with who claimed he could remove his name off?

when i worked in Insurance, financial ombudsman was very strict on companies misleading clients. If somebody gave incorrect advise that has now placed you in financial jeopardy, they ware the cost...

i think you are at the stage everything must be in writing certified letter and copies kept...

letter to school explaining due to deteriorating grades, his loss of income, he cannot pay as of date of letter and that his exwife has been notified she will be responsible for full fees or send kids to public school.

certified letter to exwife stating the same and that you clarified with original public school ex-wife made false claims your ss was bullied etc and justified this as being grounds for private school. 

Courts in USA even have said they will not take too kindly to exes tryinf to profit because of covid... exwife will tell courts kids are accustomed to private school but reality is most of their life they were public. Husband has lower income now as many are out of work, i find it laughable any judge in australia would force him to maintain private school (a luxury thing)

the fact they say they have no policies or procedures to handle this says they have nothing firm to make your husband liable indefinitely

frankly speaking, 10 weeks ago he should have sent a certified letter to exwife and school notifying his funding was withdrawn, and they go punlic or bio mum can cover everything. Letting skids 10 weeks at a private school he knows he can’t afford or the exwife is reckless and that needs to stop now


SteppedOut's picture


I live in the US, but still. This just isn't logical. The private school can't have the authority to give bm control of your husband's money and ability to end legal contracts....which is exactly what they would be doing by not allowing him to end the contract. 

Seriously, hire an attorney for and hour or two of work to write a fuck you letter - better than being hounded by some wannabe private school.

Thumper's picture

Seriously, hire an attorney for and hour or two of work to write a fuck you letter

^^^^^LOVE THIS^^^^^

I have often wrote here on ST,  have your lawyer send a letter---but THIS,,,lol

SteppedOut's picture

LOL. I can't help it. I'm just sick of BS. I have simply dealt with to much. A whiff of shit and I bring out an axe. BYE! 

tog redux's picture

BM put my SS in private school (she paid) and after she enrolled him, DH found out that contract law supersedes family law in NY, so they could deny DH any information about SS if they wanted. BM had requested that, but they backed down when attorneys became involved.

It sounds to me like perhaps the contract said that they agreed to pay tuition for X amount of time, period, so if both don't pay, then BM has to rework the contract? Kind of like a lease - you can't move out while your name is on the lease, unless someone else takes it over.

Anyway, an attorney is a good idea.

shamds's picture

There is no way a vindictive exwife can tell school the bio dad can’t be privy to school information about his kid.. even my husband working overseas has his contact info noted and my dad as a point of contact if they cannot contact me in an emergency...

op just needs to play school at their dodgy game. Its in their interests to make money during covid, they know people are suffering financially so of course private school is a luxury thing and they will say or do anything to keep kids there but op husband has been reckless having his kids still there in a private school he knows he cannot afford and waited 10 weeks and still not put bio mum on notice that the funding ends now!!

this needs to be the 1st 2 things you do!!

tog redux's picture

I'd suggest he consult an attorney- he signed a contract and it may be binding. .

Also, in the US, I'd be surprised if Family Court didn't order him to keep paying, since he agreed to it. But hopefully your courts are more sane. 

BethAnne's picture

I hope that your husband is learning to do HIS homework more diligently in the future. 

1. Get his own facts and actually deal with the school directly (not sure why he was not involved with such a serious incident - even if it was over inflated). He should not trust what his ex says ever - always verify. 

2. Don't take someone's word for anything. Read the small print. Find out the details. And if what he is being told by someone verbally is not detailed specifically in writing then get a adendum drawn up to the contract to make it clear what he is being led to believe is agreed and signed on in writing between all parties. 

I hope that you manage to get his kids out of that school. I would either involve a lawyer or get BM onside to moving the kids to a different school. Work out what she likes about this current school and what she didn't like about the last one and see if you can find a way to work with her. 

nengooseus's picture

When XH and I divorced, DD was in private school and XH and I agreed to continue her in it.  The school she was in did a yearly contract, which I think is a standard practice.  We completed separate paperwork to the school and were even awarded financial aid.  I had no idea, and only found out mid-summer that he had signed the paperwork with my name.  I found out via the business office.

I approached my attorney when XH did this, and she let me know that no judge in my area would order him to pay for private school, so if I wanted to keep her in that school, I would have to pay for it.

Bottom line is, If your DH didn't sign a new agreement for next year, or if he rescinded within the recission period, he should be good to go.  If BM wants the kids in private school, she can pay for it (unless it's in their CO, which it doesn't sound like it is).  You may need an attorney to scare the school, but that should do it.


Thumper's picture

Wow, here in the states---dad would be ordered to pay AND pay AND PAYYYYY for private school. He agreed once, now we will strong arm his ass.


Cbarton12's picture

Definitely hire an attorney.

Between your DH and his ex wife, who has the right to make educational decisions? 

But I agree with what others have said, your DH definitely should've consulted with the school prior to making such a radical change in schools and paying an exorbitant amount of money. 

Rags's picture

This answer is obvious.  If BM won't re-enroll them under just her name and DH refuses to be included..... back to public school they go.

Don't overcomplicate this.  Also, I would suggest having  your lawyer send the school a letter clearly stating that DH will neither enroll nor pay for any portion of the private school costs.  That puts any further action firmly in BDtM's lap.

Also, I would suggest that DH bare BMs ass for her lying and manipulation regarding her bullshit farbrication of why the Skid's could not stay at their former school.   Obviously going forward anything thing BM utters should be considered manipulative bullshit requiring full investigation and vetting before DH participates in any way in supporting her desires and suggestions about anything.

DPW's picture

This does not make sense. You should have a contract with the school, no? I get if you were trying to take them out mid-year, that there may be withdrawal fees, but to say that you are bound to continue to put your children in this school indefinitely sounds bizarre to me. Is this a big and popular school?