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Are Daycare Costs Included in New Jersey Child Support Payments?

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When you and your spouse get a divorce, one of the most contentious issues is child custody and subsequent support. Many parents feel as though they deserve more time or are paying too much towards support. Additionally, you’ll find that paying daycare costs is often a point of tension for many couples, as they may disagree with the terms. If this represents your current circumstances, understanding whether or not these costs are included in child support payments is critical. You’ll also discover how a Somerset County child support attorney can help if you are experiencing issues with your spouse.

Is Childcare Included in Child Support Payments?

When you and your spouse are going through a divorce, and there are children in the mix, understanding what is included in the child support payments awarded to the parent with primary custody is critical.

Generally, child support payments will cover the following:

  • Basic living expenses, like groceries, housing, and clothing
  • Education and extracurricular activities
  • Healthcare and medical expenses

When it comes to childcare costs, like a daycare or nanny, understanding whether or not this is included in the support costs is critical. Generally, if there is a work-related childcare cost, meaning the parent with custody needs to bring the child to daycare or hire a nanny to be able to work, this can be included when determining child support payments. So long as the child is at daycare or in the care of a nanny while the parent is working, these costs can be included in the support agreement.

However, if one parent is going on a date and needs a babysitter for a few hours, this cost would not be included, as it’s not a work-related expense.

In some instances, the parents will split the cost of daycare proportionally based on their income, while in other cases, the courts will order the non-custodial parent to pay for the costs so the custodial parent can go to work.

What Happens if My Spouse and I Cannot Agree on Daycare Costs?

In some instances, you and your spouse may disagree on who will care for the child while you are working. While one may want an expensive option, the other may want something cheaper. Similarly, one parent may prefer a nanny, while the other does not approve. Because this can cause complications, it’s necessary to understand that the courts may step in. They can order negotiation or mediation, and if this is still unsuccessful, the judge may decide.

Because this is an important issue that can be contentious, it’s essential to enlist the help of an attorney for this matter. Unfortunately, divorces can be bitter battles, especially when child custody is at the center of the divorce. As such, obtaining legal representation from one of the dedicated lawyers at the Siragusa Law Firm can help you navigate these complex matters to avoid the stress and anxiety that can arise when determining support and childcare costs. Contact us today to learn more.

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