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The Sunday Telegraph quotes Sarah Jane Boon on divorcees and Labour's planned VAT raid on school fees

Divorced parents are preparing for court battles over private school fees ahead of Labour's planned VAT raid.

The tax on fees means parents paying average secondary school day fees of £17,600 a year, could need to find an extra £3,500 for each child.

Sarah Jane Boon, a Partner in our Family team, told The Sunday Telegraph:

"Some parents subject to an existing court order for payment of school fees, especially if there are several children, are worried that the fees will become unaffordable if they go up by 20 per cent. In that scenario, the other parent is likely to say they disagree that the higher fees are unaffordable, which could lead to a court dispute."

Sarah received inquiries from fee-paying parents who have agreed in principle to a change in their child's secondary or sixth form school but have now told their former partner that they do not agree to the school change due to fear of fees increasing and becoming unaffordable:

"If a parent disagreed, they would have to put evidence before a judge about why they believe their preferred school is affordable and another option isn't."

She goes on to say:

"You're potentially opening up more than just the issue of the affordablility of the school fees because any maintenance order is also capable of being varied by the court."


This article was written by Louisa Clarence-Smith in print for The Sunday Telegraph.

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