I am required to pay my ex-wife for work-related child care expenses when she works and my child would otherwise be left home alone.
I pay child care costs, even though my ex-wife allows my child to stay home alone most of the time. I am fine with him staying home alone for a few hours after school as he is old enough and responsible enough.
So shouldn’t I be allowed to stop paying for child care costs as ordered by the divorce decree if my ex-wife is only sparingly using expensive child care?
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Nebraska and Iowa divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.
First, when a court order exists, the parties must follow the order or risk a possible Contempt or Show Cause Action. This would logically present the first option in how to deal with the current set of circumstances.
A party, who has not followed the order, and apparently refuses to follow the same, will be asked to appear in front of the judge and explain, or “show cause,” why they should not be held in contempt of court for their failure to follow the court order. This could work for both you and the opposing party. Please follow your court order and make sure you are in compliance.
Again, if she does not provide you with the requirements of the court order, then you would not likely be held in contempt as you were following the order. A court order does not change based on the agreement of the parties or based on discretionary options in the law.
As to your question that deals with the age a child can be left home alone, it would appear you may want to file a modification regarding the actual decree. You may want the court to decide that your ex-wife is simply creating unnecessary expenses.
Further, you could argue that she should have to pay the majority of the expense when other less costly options exist. Again, a court order cannot change without court action.
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.