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Starting my new life

I have been waiting for the last twenty years to leave my husband. I have never been that well suited to him, but once I got pregnant I thought we should give it a try. Now that the kids have left home, it's obvious that our marriage is totally over. We're going to get a divorce. I'm making sure I have all of my ducks in a row, legally speaking, before I leave so that I get everything I'm entitled too. This blog is designed to give other empty nest divorcees a place to chat and share tips and advice.


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Starting my new life

Should Your Child Support Payments Include Day Care Costs?

by Cherly Green

If you and your spouse are separated, a court may order you to pay child support for any children from the marriage. Child support is primarily meant to provide financial support to your children when they're under the care of your former spouse. The money you pay is typically used to provide food, shelter, clothing and education as the child grows up.

However, complications typically arise when a parent has to pay for day care costs that the child might need. If your former spouse is working while also taking care of children from the marriage, day care may be the only option available to provide proper care for your children. The reality is that day care can be quite expensive, and this may cause you to end up with a very high child support bill every month.

So how can you control high day care costs that are part of your child support payments?

When day care costs may be included in your child support payments

Many child support plans include provisions to pay for day care costs. Judges often include this requirement so as to provide reasonable flexibility for your spouse to empower himself or herself financially.

Day care gives your spouse time to go to work or school or to engage in any other self-empowering activity. The judge will typically provide guidelines for any associated day care costs to be included in your monthly child support plan.

Your spouse may be spending too much on day care

If you find yourself incurring hefty child support bills every month, your ex-spouse may be spending too much on day care. Day care should only be used when your former spouse is engaging in important activities for self-empowerment.

However, some spouses may simply use day care to obtain free time for their private life. Incurring high day care bills may cause you to struggle in keeping up with child support. If your ex spouse is misusing the day care provision in your child support plan, you should take action to minimise the financial burden you have to incur.

What you can do about it

Start off by finding out how much time your child spends in day care. If you deem the costs to be unreasonably high, consult a family lawyer to have your case reviewed by a judge. Day care costs should only be incurred within reasonable guidelines, and a judge can place a cap on how much you may have to pay in day care costs. This is particularly true if your ex-spouse is misusing your child support funds to incur unreasonable day care expenses.