Childcare costs

I have a job and paying child support right now. But my ex does not have a job currently. I want to send the child to preschool. Should I ask the court to grant shared child care costs. In future if my ex starts earning and send the child to daycare should I be sharing her daycare costs. I have family to support and do not have to send her to daycare anytime. What are the advantages of asking court to share childcare costs.

Belmont, CA -

Attorney Answers (3)

Michelle J. Cameron-Hunsaker

Michelle J. Cameron-Hunsaker

Family Law Attorney - San Diego, CA
Answered

Generally, childcare cost is a mandatory add on and is divided 50/50 between the parents. Look at your orders and the copy of the disso-master printout from the Court. If you are responsible for the full cost then you could ask the Court to order 50/50 division of the add ons. Since your ex isn't working you may be able to get your child into Head Start or a county program that doesn't charge for services.

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John Noah Kitta

John Noah Kitta

Divorce / Separation Lawyer - Fremont, CA
Answered

Childcare costs are an add on to child support. The earnings or lack thereof by your ex can be a factor in the Judges decision whether she should contribute to the childcare. The real question is why isn’t she working. Does she have the ability to work and what can she make when she does work. As long as she has the ability to work and there is employment available the court will probably order her to pay one half of the childcare costs.
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Sarah Jeannette Haselup

Sarah Jeannette Haselup

Child Support Lawyer - San Francisco, CA
Answered

I agree with my colleagues above regarding the fact that childcare is shared 50/50 (so long as it is "employment-related" childcare).

I would comment that, based upon the assumption that your preliminary question is due to your child's mother providing care while you are work, and you are looking to change that for preschool. I would simply add that preschool is, for many, a valuable tool towards socialization and preparation of the young child for kindergarten and the school years ahead. Additionally, preschool does not always have to be a full-time program, but can be part-time or only a few days per week. As such, you could make an argument that your child's interests are served by the enrollment, despite the fact that the child's mother currently provides care. Whether or not the court would order you and she to split the cost is up to the Court's discretion as there is a parent who can provide care.

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