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Day Care Expenses & Child Support Guidelines

Day care expenses can be factored into the child support guidelines. However, there are a number of issues that should be considered here. The first is whether to include them at all into the guidelines or if they should be outside of the guidelines. Much will depend on how long these expenses will last. If they will last a few months, it may not make any sense to have to come back to court so soon to recalculate the child support. If they are outside of the guidelines, the parents can just split the cost according to the percentages listed in the guidelines. When the day care stops, the child support will remain the same thus eliminating the need to return to court.

Assuming the client wants the day care expenses added to the guidelines, it has to be proved that this is related to work or a search for work. That is, net work related day care expenses cannot be day care expenses that allow the parent to sit home and escape parental responsibility. At the same time, the parent’s work needs to pay off. Day care can be very expensive and if the custodial parent’s minimum wage job pays about the same per week as day care, then an argument can be made that he/she should just stay home.

Child Support & Daycare Expenses

The term net work related day care is used because it is assumed that the parents will pay for any and all tax credits that are available. Thus, if this offsets the total cost, the net numbers should be used, not the gross. Another factor to be considered here is the cost of the daycare. Daycare and summer camps (which fall into the same category) are expensive as it is but some parents choose to enroll their children in very high end day care centers. The cost of same should be on par with the parent’s income. Finally, proof of all expenses should be provided to the other parent and the court. Our child support lawyers have seen too many people come into court asking for day care expenses without having any evidence as to what those expenses are! You need to show proof to everyone involved before a court can grant your request.