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Do I have to pay additional childcare/preschool costs ?

Boston, MA |

I share joint legal and physical(50-50) custody of my 4 yr old daughter. Our court order says I am to "continue paying daycare costs" and when the order was created our daughter was 3 and in daycare that cost $200/wk which I paid in full. My ex now wants to put her in a preschool that costs $350/wk and have me pay the full $350/wk amount. Her child support figure is based off me paying childcare costs of $200/wk. Am I responsible for the additional $150/wk for preschool beyond the $200/wk I had been paying for daycare at the time the court order was drafted ? Lastly, there is a good preschool conviently located to both of us that is only $200/wk.

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Attorney answers 5


As joint legal and physical custodian, don't leave the decision up to her to choose the daycare. The daycare will want you to sign the paperwork. In short, yes you will have to pay the daycare costs. However you can modify the Order stating that the Order went into effect when the costs were $200/week and it is still available for $200/week. good luck.

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My colleague is right she can't enroll the child in school without your permission. If you think that school is too costly you should look around for alternatives. If the costs have gone up considerably then you might want to consider filing a modification based on the changed circumstances. Best of luck.


Karla Mansur, Esq.
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Since you have joint legal and physical custody of your daughter, you have an equal say in where your daughter attends preschool. Your ex cannot unilaterally make this decision. From the language you posted in you question, I would agree with the previous answer that, yes, you are responsible for the cost of preschool - whatever that cost may be since the order does not specify an amount. If you do end up paying more for preschool, file a complaint for modification so that the appropriate figures are being used to determine your child support obligation. Good luck.

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I agree with the prior responses. You should carefully review the agreement with a family law attorney. If you do file for modification, you should consider any other topics you would like to modify as well.

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Preschool does not equal daycare, at least in my mind.

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