Paying Child Care Costs During Your Parenting Time

divorce lawyer Daniel LambertQuestion:

I am wondering if I am legally obligated to continue paying for child care costs if my children do not need child care during my parenting time.

My ex-wife and I agreed to split child care costs in our divorce decree since we split child custody and parenting time 50-50. Now that I am getting remarried, my future wife is able to watch the children during the days I have parenting time so we do not need child care.

Am I still obligated to pay half of the costs of child care even though I will not be using child care services?


While I am not licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction, I can provide you with general divorce help for men on the child custody and parenting time questions you present.

You will remain responsible for half of the child care costs unless an agreement is reached to the contrary with your ex-wife. The choice to agree to equally share the child care costs was done with the potential risk that only one parent may require the child care.

Even though you may not utilize the provision for yourself, you still benefit from the child care utilized by your ex-wife in that it allows her to work additional hours, which factors into the monthly child support calculations.

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A reasonable solution may be to propose that your significant other watch your children for your ex-wife in place of child care. If your ex-wife would be favorable to the idea, then an agreement could be drafted and submitted to the court with a request that it becomes an order superseding the provision for child care expenses in the divorce judgment.

It is important to have agreements memorialized in stipulations as verbal agreements to modify the child custody and parenting time schedule may not be enforced and you could end up with a mess on your hands later.

An attorney would be able to draft the agreement for you and send the matter to the Court to modify the provisions regarding payment of childcare expenses. Consulting with a divorce lawyer may reveal other issues that need to be addressed which could be included in the stipulation you will send to the court.

Please understand that my opinions are based upon the limited facts that you provided to me.

To schedule an appointment with a divorce attorney, including Milwaukee Divorce Lawyer Daniel L. Lambert, please contact Cordell & Cordell Law Firm.

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