We have joint custody and the mom is paying child support to me. So shouldn’t be responsible for all, or at least half, of the child’s daycare/afterschool care?
The first thing you should do is refer to your divorce decree or paternity judgment. There may be a provision which governs who is responsible for uninsured medical expenses, variable expenses, and childcare expenses.
If there isn’t an Order detailing who is responsible for the expense, you should consult an attorney to find out how the Courts address child care expenses in your jurisdiction. Although I do not practice in your jurisdiction, Cordell & Cordell has many attorneys licensed and located in Indiana who would be happy to help.
In some jurisdictions, the non-custodial parent does not have to pay for childcare expenses. The explanation being that the child support is supposed to cover his or her contribution to the expense. However, in other jurisdictions, given the cost of childcare far exceeds most support payments, the Courts make separate orders which require the parties to split the costs. This does not always mean a 50/50 division; some Courts divide the cost based on the percentage of placement. For example, if you have placement 60% of the year, you would be responsible for 60% of the cost and she would be responsible for 40%. Because each jurisdiction, and sometimes even Judges within the same jurisdiction, decide the payment of childcare expenses differently, it is important that you contact an Indiana attorney.
Erica Christian is an Associate Attorney in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. She is licensed to practice law in the state of Wisconsin. She is a member of the Wisconsin Bar Association, the Family Law Section and the Children’s Law Section.