Determining Daycare Expenses For Child Support
Can a court order a parent to pay for child care expenses, and if so, at what rate?
By statute in Missouri, a court must enter a detailed Parenting Plan with regard to any custody judgment, and that Parenting Plan must include provisions for paying for the expenses of the child, which includes work-related child care. So yes – a court can, and arguably should, set out a means for paying for work-related child care.
Generally, courts look at the relative income shares of the parties 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 even 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 person 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 of paying, and the amount of, the work-related child care expenses.
Only a skilled and experienced attorney in family law can properly advise you as to the various options you have with regard to the payment of work-related child care expenses.
At The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C, we have over fifty years of combined experience handling family law matters. We help individuals understand their rights with regard to all issues, including payment of child care expenses. We do all required discovery, and will try your case before the judge if we cannot reach a settlement. We have handled hundreds of trials before family court judges; if you choose The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C., you will have the benefit of a family law attorney unafraid to go to court, advocate on your behalf and fully present your case.
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