As a teacher, I have several weeks off of work during the summer. In this time, I can watch my children rather than send them to daycare.
Since I could otherwise be seeking supplemental income or unpaid professional development, if I watch the kids during these days, does this change the amount of childcare costs I pay?
Does my ex then need to pay the difference?
While I am not licensed to practice law in your state, I can give some general guidance on this issue.
In many states, the parties share in the costs of actually incurred daycare or childcare proportionately. This means that, if one parent makes 60% of the combined parental income, he or she pays 60% of the daycare costs; the other parent would pay 40%.
This pertains to actual costs incurred, not costs that would be incurred if the parent providing childcare was unable to do so because that is a hypothetical situation.
In the event you wanted to pursue other employment, schooling or training, you could enroll your child in daycare and share in the costs in a manner your state deems appropriate.
If you are going to be working an additional job, however, you should note that this may increase your income amount for support calculation purposes. In many states, this could then increase your percentage of the combined income and, therefore, the proportionate share of daycare costs. If you are not actually incurring this expense, your ex will not have to pay you for the costs.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.