Divorce & Child (Day) Care Expenses


Child Care Expenses

In many families, and especially in families of divorce, both parents work outside the home. If there are young children involved, work-related Child Care expenses will have to be determined and entered into the Parenting Plan as part of the divorce.

Generally, courts look at the relative income shares of you and your spouse as set out in the child support calculations, in addition to other property and funds, when considering the contribution each parent must make to the payment of work-related child care expenses. Usually, courts will include this amount on the Form 14 used to calculate child support, as payment of work related child care serves as an offset to the total amount of child support due.

A big issue with work related child care has to do with the selection of the provider. If parents have joint legal custody, they make that decision together. But if one parent has that decision solely, the choice of the provider must still be reasonable in terms of meeting the needs of the child and the overall expense.

Work related child care expenses qualify for the federal child care tax credit, but only the parent claiming the child as a dependent and paying the child care expense (or part of it) may claim the expenses toward the credit. Taking advantage of the tax credit may factor into your method and amount of the work related child care expenses for which each parent is responsible.

You need an experienced divorce attorney on your side.