For the past 8 years, I've been self-employed, so I've provided child care to my two children, while my wife was at work during the week, 8am to 6pm. Since our divorce, I've continued to provide that schedule as our official parental plan, i.e. take care of my kids weekdays 8 to 6pm, and my ex-wife has custody the rest of the time - evenings and weekends. Now that she's in another relationship, she's planning to move to another school district, 100 miles away, which would change the parental plan, unless I also move. I already pay child support, but I'm wondering if I'll also have to pay for the nanny that will have to be hired by my ex-wife, since I'm no longer available during the week.
Frist of all, before your wife can move she will have to comply with the relocation provisions of RCW Chapter 26.09 (starting at subsection .405). This can be a tricky proceeding. I recommend you talk to a lawyer about this. A party has a constitutional right to travel/move; the issue for the court is if they can take the children with them. If your wife is the primary residential parent, then there is a resumption that her move is in the children's best interest that you have to rebut. You being the weekday care provider is an important facet of your parenting relationship.
Concerning child care [RCW 26.19.080(3)], if she is allowed to move with the kids and you do not move, the you are not available to care for the kids and she will have to provide child care. You will be stuck paying your share. What I do is check the cost of commercial child care and see how that relates to the cost of a nanny. If a nanny is more, I'd argue for a lower cap on child care that you have to share in based upon the figure for commercial child care. However, there are drawbacks in commercial day care providers versus a nanny in the house; a nanny is often better for your children.
Bottom line, I recommend you get legal advice and not go this alone.
I agree with prior counsel.
She cannot relocate the child without giving you formal notice first. You will have the opportunity to object to the relocation of the child. She is not just changing school districts, she is changing the entire residential schedule.
Day care is an expense that is typically prorated based upon comparative incomes. It is the cost of work related day care. A nanny can entail much more than day care, such as house cleaning, laundry, etc. You should not be responsible for those costs, only the cost of day care.
I would suggest talking to an experienced family law attorney right away to discuss your options prior to her decision to move.
At least two issues:
1. Relocation. If you have a parenting plan, and she is the primary custodial parent, then she has to give you notice of intent to relocate. You should object, and file the objection to the relocation / petition to modify parenting plan. File a petition to modify child support at the same time.
2. Nanny. The statute provides that work-related daycare will be allocated based on each parties' proportional share of combined income, as determined by the child support worksheet. The daycare costs should be reasonable. Find a licensed, well recommended, and convenient daycare in her area. If that price is less than the cost of the nanny, the court would prob. use that price instead of the nanny price. The nanny price is prob. going to be sig. higher than the daycare price.
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