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Do I have to pay for S.T.B.X. childcare?

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Nature_Girl posted 4/7/2013 18:11 PM

I'm pondering worst case scenarios here because that's what I'm looking at. I'm all done hoping for the best.

So assuming STBX gets partial custody or extended parenting time that includes overnights & weekends and vacations, and assuming he doesn't somehow magically come into a wad of cash allowing him to be a stay-at-home-parent when he has the kids, meaning he still has to go to work for a living... I going to be stuck with paying for 50% of the childcare costs with all the babysitters, nannies or whoever else he'll have to hire to watch the kids when he has them?

I ask because I cannot afford to pay for childcare NOW. I can't afford 50% of the childcare costs NOW, so I cannot look for FT work (which I don't want, anyways, because I'd like to return to college & finish my degree). Now that I'm looking at the worst-case scenario, I am shuddering at the idea of having to pay STBX 50% of the childcare when the kids are with him.

It would be the ultimate victory for him, making me pay HIM for childcare. He didn't want the kids to begin with, so forcing me to pay childcare when he knows I'd rather be the one to stay home with them would make his day sparkle.

caregiver9000 posted 4/7/2013 18:22 PM

My parenting agreement states that ex does not get the kids if he cannot care for them. He does not get two weeks in the summer if he is not on vacation. I can ask for PROOF of his time away from work from his employer.

I do know that there have been Saturdays when the kids were with him and he went into work. They stayed with the OW... *shudder. Or he took them into work and left them in the car while he "met with someone or brought keys or some other work emergency..."

My friend who has a 50/50 custody split and daycare is where the pick ups for parental transfer took place each week... they split the cost of the daycare but it is the consistent place the kids go no matter whose house they sleep at.

I think it is wise to investigate worst case scenarios and have a counter offer for it based in logistics like his inability to exercise PARENTING time. This was precisely my argument as a teacher with the summer off and kids who were not going to go to stay with dad and be babysat or ignored by dad's girlfriend...

Good luck (((NG)))

whyohwhyohwhy posted 4/7/2013 18:34 PM

In our case, divorce stated that each parent was responsible for 50% of work related child care. This can be expensive when the kids are little, but it is tax deductible if you use a caregiver with a tax ID.

I am the primary custodial parent.

If possible, I would put something in your divorce agreement that includes how much child care costs and try to have it included with spousal support/child support wage garnishment.

It is just a total pain in the ass to get ex to kick in his share of before/after care, and I'm the one who drops off/picks up little one.

I wouldn't worry about paying for childcare to him on the weekends/vacation. If he doesn't have the time to have the kids then, then he shouldn't be seeking custody during those times.

[This message edited by whyohwhyohwhy at 6:35 PM, April 7th (Sunday)]

Nature_Girl posted 4/7/2013 18:50 PM

No, he shouldn't be seeking custody for times he's not home, but he most certainly IS seeking custody for times he's not home. Last year he did not take full advantage of the parenting time available to him because he had other things he'd rather do. But since I had the kids already anyway there was no worries.

However, if he's got the kids but he has to work and they aren't in school??? That kind of childcare adds up. I already priced it and came here to process the sticker shock. I can't even afford half of that amount. At present I can't even afford anything.

I thought of that "right of first refusal" thing people talk about, but I know he'd make me offer the kids to HIM when I need childcare. And since I think he's an evil pervert to begin with, I can't see myself offering the kids to him.

torn2bits posted 4/7/2013 19:17 PM

My WH works nights. They have to be with me during this time. Also, sometimes he is home during the time I am at work and they are with me because I am the custodial parent.

What they said is that whatever child support am receiving should cover the cost of child care. Also, if I have them, I am responsible for finding someone to watch them.

I would ask that there is right of refusal in your paperwork.

There is no paying him for things. If you are the custodial parent, you will receive child support. He is responsible for what he has to pay when he works, but you are available when he is working and make that known t him.

You are their mother and you come before anyone else.

whyohwhyohwhy posted 4/7/2013 19:24 PM

In our state, and I think in most states, child care costs are independent of child & spousal support.

So, say you got $1000/month in either spousal and/or child support, and daycare costs were $1000/month.

He would have to pay the $1000/month, and $500 toward childcare.

Coraline posted 4/7/2013 19:31 PM

I don't know what state you're in, but if your state uses an income shares model, then they may assign you the earnings of a full time worker making minimum wage. Then child support is calculated based on your income shares, with any SS deducted from his income and added to yours. Childcare affects the final amount, but would again be calculated based on your income or whatever income was imputed to you, so at no point should you have to pay 50%. And unless HE has primary custody and you are paying HIM child support, then even that shouldn't matter. If he's paying you CS, then he should be paying for his own childcare. That's how it works in the two states I've looked at which use income shares.

debbysbaby posted 4/7/2013 19:56 PM

My state is an income shares model. Your child care expense is your pro rata share of the child support amount. To keep it simple let's say that the amount of child support for your children is considered to be $1000 and this would be based on the income they imputed to you which would be at least minimum wage full-time plus his income. Then they calculate the percentage of that total amount that you earn and the percentage that he earns. If he earns 70% of the combined income and you earn 30% then he is responsible for 70%, or $700 of that thousand dollars and you are responsible for the 300. You obviously as the custodial parent just keep your 300 and he pays you 700. Then for daycare expense they use that same 70/30% Split. So let's say the daycare was all $600 a month. He would be responsible for 70% of that or $420. You would be responsible for 30% of that or $180. There can be some things that mess with those totals but that's pretty much how it works in an income shares state. At least that's how it works in mine.

[This message edited by debbysbaby at 7:56 PM, April 7th (Sunday)]

Nature_Girl posted 4/7/2013 20:28 PM

I don't know what my state is. Other than f'ed up when it comes to child porn & sex perverts.

tryingagain74 posted 4/7/2013 20:35 PM

N_G, in my state, child care is separate from child support. STBX and I don't pay any child care because we manage to juggle watching the kids together (aside from hiring the occasional babysitter-- but I usually get a family member to help me, so it's free). However, if STBX decided that he was no longer going to help out in the mornings, then we'd have to put the kids in a daily child care program, and we would split the expenses according to the legal agreement.

However... if we went 50/50, and I didn't need to put the kids in a child care program (which I won't next year due to my teaching schedule) but STBX did, then it's my understanding that the expense would be his to shoulder. So, unless your state has vastly different rules, I would think that your STBX would be on his own financially for child care during his weeks if he's the only one who will need it.

HopeImOverIt posted 4/8/2013 08:38 AM

My state has the same rule as DebbysBaby. I'm afraid you WOULD have to pay a % of his childcare expenses that allow him to work. The % depends on the ratio of your income to his. You don't have to pay for childcare expenses that allow him to go to non-work events.

Similarly, in my state he has to pay a % of childcare costs that allow YOU to work (or look for work?), and that is in addition to the base child support amount.

The way around paying for his childcare is to put "right of first refusal" into the divorce agreement. But as you point out, he can also ask for the same right. However if you end up working similar hours to his, he might not have much opportunity to excercise that clause.

And yes, you are right, childcare is insanely expensive!

LadyQ posted 4/8/2013 08:48 AM

I'm in Texas, and child support is based solely on the non-custodial parents income. Also, child care is in addition to child support. Child support is designed to take care of the basic costs of raising children. Child care is basically "extra".

What2Thnk posted 4/8/2013 09:45 AM

I second that the way around the childcare issue is a 'right of first refusal' clause, which basically allows you to say that you will watch the kids while he works. That said, be careful that he doesn't try to use it to manipulate you into having the kids whenever he wants to go play. Unless that's your preference anyway.

Nature_Girl posted 4/8/2013 13:16 PM

So if I'm understanding correctly, generally/normally speaking, childcare costs are split when the parent has to be at work. Is that right? When the parent is doing their own thing (hobby, social, whatever that's not work) that childcare cost is fully on that parent. Is that about right?

What about when the parent is attending college (so that the parent can get a job to make enough money to support herself & her children)? Is that considered a valid reason to split the childcare cost?

veritas posted 4/8/2013 13:30 PM

In Louisiana, childcare costs are configured into child support; it's taken as a credit against child support that the other parent has to pay. As an example, my childcare was +$400 a month. I got a credit on my side of the child support equation. He paid for health insurance, so he got a credit for that.

TrustGone posted 4/8/2013 14:52 PM

I unfortunately had to pay for all the childcare. My XWH#1 did not work, on SSI for years, and had no intention of working again. In order for me to get primary custody I had to pay for childcare myself. Texas is a no fault state and they didn't care that it wouldn't be him, but his parents watching my son. Since I was the only one working I also had to pay for all insurance costs. It really sucked as I worked 12hr days and had to pay a sitter after day care closed until I got home at 7:00pm so I had additional costs with that. I tried to let my XWH watch him after I filed for divorce, but he started WWIII every time I went to pick up my son after I got off work. Of course my son hadn't ate dinner or done his homework when I picked him up either. At least with the sitter at daycare she had him do his homework and gave him a snack. It was a hard couple of years until I could find a job that had more reasonable hours. It was a choice I made at the time in order to have my son with me during the week if only for a few hours a night.

peacelovetea posted 4/8/2013 14:54 PM

We have agreed, but I dont know if it is standard, that we proportionally split the childcare while I am at school/doing clinical training/studying in summer.

HopeImOverIt posted 4/9/2013 08:57 AM

My guess is that if the IRS recognizes something as a deductible childcare expense, so will the divorce court. According to my reading of the IRS rules, if you attend school full-time, that counts.

homewrecked2011 posted 4/10/2013 03:46 AM

Yes, I got the first right of refusal and it might help you, too. If you are going back to school, you are prob going to be going online, so you'll be home. I DIDN"T want it at first, but it has been a lifesaver for me!!!! (I work part time).

Our divorce papers say if either party is unable to care for the children for 4 hours, then the Other party gets the first right of refusal before another person is allowed to babysit children. I just got my children for 3 of the 5 days of XWH spring break visitation because he had to work. I did, too, but I worked 3 hours those days (great boss). and my children are now 12 and 15, so they are ok alone now. Also,, in summer he's only getting them 2 weeks because he works the other 2 weeks he COULD have exercised his visitation.

I THINK 1st right of refusal's problem can lie if you wanted the kids to spend day with your family while you worked. Then XWH could insist he gets them that day.

I ALWAYS drop my plans if he needs to bring them home early or has something going on.

Also, see what all you can put in your papers that is backed up by contempt...such as in my state he can't have a girlfriend spend the night -- it's contempt, and drinking then driving with children there. That way you have some "teeth" in the fight.

you can search: Judge brown's standard visitation SC. Your state is probably not so restrictive, but it'll give you an idea of what to ask for(like no r rated movies, no drinking, etc). You can always hire a PI later to bust him, especially if you can get him drinking and driving with children!!!

A main thing you want is final say in ALL decisions affecting your children. (I get to say, yes they can go to camp, yes it's time for eye glasses, yes they are going to go to Speech therapy, etc). You dont want him busting up their counseling.

You will get a HUGE tax refund if you work part time, go to school and hire someone part time to watch your children. There are CREDITS you get!Like you get back thousands more than you pay in. I got back the money I paid someone to watch children, PLUS a CREDIT of a couple hundred dollars. IF you have free time, go online to one of those tax programs. You can fill it out but not submit. As you go along it tells you what your refund is gonna be. Am I making sense? LOL Hard to tell sometimes!!!!

For instance: Go to taxact online start new return. Put in your childrens ages, put filing status as head of household, put down you make 10,000 and had college expenses of 2,000 and babysitting fees of 7,000 for year and child support income of whatever you think it's gonna be. It will calculate your earned income credit and your credit for child care and your credit for college. You can see the refund figures on the top right page as you go along. You can switch it all up as you go along.

Tip: My friend told me (please verify) that displaced homemakers qualify for college to be paid thru the unemployment office. Check on yours.

Also, try to get childcare paid directly included in child support somehow. You don't want to track him down each week for it.

[This message edited by homewrecked2011 at 3:52 AM, April 10th (Wednesday)]

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