April 13, 2021

A court finds a divorced father who refused to pay private school for his daughter | My rights section

A court finds a divorced father who refused to pay private school for his daughter | My rights section

To study in a private university usually has a very high cost, unattainable for the economy of many families. Seven thousand euros of tuition plus transportation costs, this is the figure that was intended to be imposed as a shared expense to a divorced father. The mother, who had custody of the daughter, included them as ordinary, but a Catalan court rejected it in a recent sentence (whose full text you can consult here).

Indeed, the Provincial Court of Barcelona, which examines the matter, frees the father of the payment of half of this cost considering that it is an extraordinary expense for which the consent of both parents is required. In its resolution, the court clarifies that, although the costs of studying the common children are normally considered ordinary (and should be included in the alimony), in the specific case they should be considered exceptional given the economic level of the family.

The circumstance arises that, after the divorce and by mutual agreement, the father remained the custody of the youngest of the children, while the mother lived with the eldest daughter. In the lawsuit, the amount of alimony set in favor of each of the common children was questioned (175 euros in favor of the minor and 200 euros for the greater one). In this sense, the father requested that no amount be established and that each parent pay for the expenses of the child with whom they lived. The court, however, rejects your request. Although the Catalan Civil Code allows the contribution to the payment of food directly, clarify the magistrates, compliance with this obligation must address the economic situation of each of the parents, which makes it necessary to set a monthly pension as a way to instrumentalize this responsibility.

The fact that the economic capacity of the father was noticeably superior to that of the mother (who earned 1,200 euros a month, 200 less than his ex), justified according to the magistrates a greater contribution.

However, what is not covered by the court is the requirement that the father also assume the cost of his daughter's private university. As stated in the resolution, the parent refused to pay half of this expense, seven thousand euros in one in Sant Cugat del Vallés, to far exceed their economic capacity. In his letter he claimed that although it was fixed that it would pay half of the university studies and even taking into account that the daughter could not access a public university because of the court note, could not cope with the high sum demanded. As he stated, it is not that he opposed these studies but that he could not face them, being willing to allocate for this purpose the money that they obtained with the sale of the common floor if the case arose.

He also claimed that the daughter was working, as demonstrated conversations WhatsApp held with his brother (question that the court does not take into account), and that the mother had savings of about 7,000 euros that both had saved for future expenses of their children .

The court concludes that the refusal of the father is justified in this case, and rejects the imposition of paying half of these expenses. As it indicates, the Supreme Court has indicated in various judgments that the ordinary or extraordinary condition of the training expense with the existence of an agreement between the parents and the economic level of the family. In this sense, the seven thousand euros of the registration exceeded the previous expense "in an important way" and can not be considered as usual or normal. Even if the daughter has not been able to access a public university, the magistrates explain, it can not be understood that the expenditure of a private university "is necessary in the sense of inevitability", since there are other access channels for higher education.

For this reason, the court revokes the previous ruling without prejudice to the fact that if it were to sell the family home, this request could be raised again.

What does the food allowance include?

The maintenance is the payment that the judge imposes on the parent who does not have custody of the common children to meet your needs. These expenses include not only food, but also other ordinary expenses, such as clothing, housing, medical expenses and training. This last chapter usually includes after-school classes and reinforcement or support classes, which parents will have to agree on. The proportionality and adequacy to the income of the parent who must pay the pension is the criterion to be followed to determine the amount.

The courts have been defining what kind of expenses are normally included as ordinary, and therefore should be taken into account when determining the amount of the pension and which exceed this category and require the consent of both parents. Training expenses are not automatically extinguished because the children reach the age of majority, and normally cover university studies, except situations in which the little profit from them and the children have reached an age that allows them to work.

If you want to know more about economic benefits after separations and divorces click here


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