Hi, I'm Dave Ward from The Ward Law Firm.
Another change that has been made recently with regard to child support is how we treat work related daycare expenses. "Work related daycare expenses" is something that can be factored into the child support obligation of the parents because we know that parents have to be able to go out and earn a living to support themselves and make their own contributions to child support. So the law views this as a necessary expense. The way that the courts used to treat this, or the way that the law required them to treat this, was they had to included a specific amount for work related childcare in the child support worksheet. Meaning that it was a set amount every single month, regardless of what the actual work related daycare expenses were in a particular month.
The obvious problem with this is in some months, that expense may be higher and in other months it may be lower, so there is usually a very likelihood that one parent or the other is not being treated fairly with regard to that.
Attorneys, for a long time, in reaching a settlement agreement have been able to remove work related daycare from the child support worksheet upon agreement of the parties, and address that separately by simply stating that one parent will be responsible for a certain part of that expense, while the other will be responsible for the remaining portion of that expense. And it'll be done on an as-paid basis, meaning that those expenses are only paid as they are actually incurred.
Well, this change in the law has now allowed our judges to do the same thing, and what we're seeing now is a lot of judges taking advantage of this, because we know from experience that the needs of a child change over time, and therefore because that level of care changes, the cost of daycare changes over time. So rather than having to run back to court every time there is a new level of care needed or change in daycare, this allows the parties to not have to do that and still be fair and treat everybody the way that it should be in determining who's going to be responsible for what.
So if you have any questions about work related daycare and how it affects child support, and what you can do about it and what your option are, give me a call. I'm Dave Ward from the War Law Firm, and we protect business owners facing divorce.