‘Daycare Expenses’ When My Ex Is Watching The Kids

divorce lawyer Kirsten ReneauQuestion:

My ex-wife has offered to watch the children during the day while I’m at work, but she wants to charge me for her providing “daycare, food, and activities” for the children.

I think it is unreasonable to pay her to watch her own children in addition to the child support I pay.

Can she make me pay her for her time watching the kids as a form of “daycare” expenses?


I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Wisconsin child support laws where I am licensed to practice.

Child support covers the basic necessities of food, clothes and shelter. Daycare expenses are considered variable costs, at least where I practice.

Variable costs are anything above and beyond basic needs. In some states, variable costs are split in accordance with the percentage of time that each parent spends with the children under a shared placement arrangement.

Many courts do not consider exercising placement in the absence of the other parent (the right of first refusal) to be babysitting or daycare and would similarly not treat the associated expenses as such.

It sounds like you are providing support to her for what we call “equivalent care,” but this still does not rise to the level of daycare expenses.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Madison Divorce Attorney Kirsten K. Reneau, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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One comment on “‘Daycare Expenses’ When My Ex Is Watching The Kids

    Im a single father, me and mi ex wife we agreed on expanded starndar posesion, i have phisical. Posecion of the children, just yesterday she texted me letting me know that she can’t do the visitacions that the agreement said and that only could do the 1st 3rd and 5th weekend of the months,
    i just have a new job that requieres me to leave my children on a daycare, my questions are: can i modify the visitacions? And can i ask for more child support cause i will be having more days my children? And if i can make her help me out with the daycare?

    Thank you.

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