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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 07-19-2009, 03:05 PM
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Default How to Share Daycare Costs?

The court order states that daycare costs shall be shared by both parties in proportion to their incomes. (As per the guidelines.)

The custodial parent wants to change this provision.

In her latest case conference brief, she suggested sharing daycare costs 50/50. My husband agreed, although the issue never came up in court and as a result was never re-ordered.

All of a sudden, based on a judge's comment, she wants to "share" subsidized sick-days so that my husband is responsible for 50% of daycare costs plus 100% of all daycare absence fees due to his court-ordered vacation time. My husband is not in agreement with this, and insists on sharing ALL daycare costs 50-50. After all, why should he be financially penalized for exercising his court-ordered time? Why should he have to pay extra in order to see his son?

Yet, this is the response we get from the custodial mom: "I do not agree that each of us paying 50% of daycare costs is fair - since I would be facilitating your vacation time."

Isn't it the custodial parent's obligation to help facilitate access and vacation times? We already do all the transportation (full tank of gas each round trip) and cover 50% of all costs plus 100% of all camps/activities during the time the child is with us. On top of an already increased amount of child support.

The issue is that the child needs to be in daycare full-time in order for the custodial mom to receive subsidized care. When the child is absent from daycare, absence fees of $35/day are incurred. The custodial mom feels she should not be responsible for these costs as the child is on dad's vacation time, and expects my husband to cover 100% of these absence fees, yet still expects him to cover at least 50% of all other daycare fees, including absence fees associated with absences on her custody time (be they due to illness or other).

Any suggestions on how to handle this nonsense?

Your input is greatly appreciated, as both my husband and I are at our wits' end.
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Old 07-19-2009, 05:11 PM
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The daycare costs should be split 50/50 (or however daycare costs are to be split). This whole splitting of sick days and absent days etc does not make sence.

Putting the child in daycare is a fixed cost - they require you to pay for a certain number of days, whether you use them or not. By fixed, I realize that actually the cost may vary, but I mean there is a minimum cost associated with it.

It does not make sense to divide up the days not used but charged for - its like trying to divide up the days where the child actually went to daycare. For example one parent says it was the other parent that needed that daycare day, not them, so they say the other parent should pay for it - that is not how it works - daycare is SHARED expense. Assigning cost of days not used (but charged for) makes no sense when you don't assign cost of days used.

I think I have clarity on this now - it was hard to cut through it with all the day counting etc, but I am pretty sure that my thinking is fair here....how the daycare is used IS NOT OF IMPORTANCE - the bill should be divided according to income (or whatever other ratio you decide).
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Old 07-19-2009, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billm View Post
The daycare costs should be split 50/50 (or however daycare costs are to be split). This whole splitting of sick days and absent days etc does not make sence.

Putting the child in daycare is a fixed cost - they require you to pay for a certain number of days, whether you use them or not. By fixed, I realize that actually the cost may vary, but I mean there is a minimum cost associated with it.

It does not make sense to divide up the days not used but charged for - its like trying to divide up the days where the child actually went to daycare. For example one parent says it was the other parent that needed that daycare day, not them, so they say the other parent should pay for it - that is not how it works - daycare is SHARED expense. Assigning cost of days not used (but charged for) makes no sense when you don't assign cost of days used.

I think I have clarity on this now - it was hard to cut through it with all the day counting etc, but I am pretty sure that my thinking is fair here....how the daycare is used IS NOT OF IMPORTANCE - the bill should be divided according to income (or whatever other ratio you decide).
Thank you Bill. I think you do have clarity on this now. What you write makes perfect sense and it is what we are fighting for. Unfortunately, as I posted in my original post, my stepson's mom doesn't think this is fair because of the increased costs of daycare during my husband's vacation time. We're just at our wits' end, arguing in circles. She's even threatened to not release the child for the court-ordered vacation unless he pays her the full rate for all the days the child will be missing while in his care prior to the vacation time. It's been quite a ridiculous ride. I think I posted in another thread how it's costing us over $1,000 in additional fees to exercise court-ordered vacation time. That is why I am here, asking for advice and suggestions on how to deal with this situation.
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Old 07-19-2009, 05:45 PM
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How does she manage to get subsidized daycare?

Does she pay for her own lawyer or is she getting legal aid? Seems like she's in court over little issues..
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Old 07-19-2009, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mominont View Post
How does she manage to get subsidized daycare?

Does she pay for her own lawyer or is she getting legal aid? Seems like she's in court over little issues..
She manages to get subsidized care because she's a "young single mom" who wanted to get a university degree but couldn't afford child care and go to school full time. Even though she has been working full-time for over a year now, social services still considers her an "at-risk single mom" and so they are continuing her subsidy. We don't complain, because we reep the benefits of it as well in reduced daycare costs.

As for paying for her own lawyer, she claims to "get loans" from family in order to afford representation. She then lists these so-called loans in her financial statement (without any notarized loan agreements, as required by the court) and when the court grants her every little issue she brings forth, we end up having to pay these "loans." It's quite ridiculous, especially now that - as you said - she brings every little issue to court... now that she's gotten a taste of victory.
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Old 07-20-2009, 01:20 PM
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OMG, it never ends, does it?

The custodial mom is claiming that she is not in agreement with the court order that states all daycare costs shall be shared! Because she doesn't feel she should facilitate my husband's court ordered time!

And she's now threatening re-enrolling with FRO if my husband doesn't agree to her demand on how to share daycare costs!

I have such a headache. And the arguments with my husband are rising, as he's fed up with all this as well. I hate it when these ridiculous issues cause us to take it out on each other.
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Old 07-20-2009, 02:15 PM
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#1stepmom,

This ex wife sure knows how to put you guys through the wringer. All I can suggest is to do the math, and figure out how much more you would have to pay. Is it worth the headache to you to fight it, or is it easier to give in? I know, from your other posts, you already have given in many times, and she is never happy and comes back for more. Maybe she likes the drama. Maybe if you just give in and don't say a word, she'll stop with all the litigating?

All I know is that fighting with your husband over this HAS to stop. You cannot give her that much control over your relationship, that might be her ultimate goal (revenge, not money). You cannot let her control your money AND your relationship. Try to step back and just relaize what is important. You and your husband being happy. Being free of her mentally, no matter how she tries to get to you.

I know we have "given" in time and time again. The ex-wife gets 40% of my husbands pay checks (and that is only CS and "extras", not even SS). It is WAY too much money, and it is TOTALLY unfair to our 2 children, but it is what it is.

Some day it will end. Untill then, I will work hard for our 2 children and try to love my husband and know that he is doing his best (and feels very bad that he has a scrouging ex-wife) so I try not to make him feel worse about it. It is not his fault, although when we wives complain about their exes, men take on too much guilt. So I don't complain anymore, I don't want him to feel bad becasue I know it's not his fault and he is trying his best for everyone. Does that make sense?
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Old 07-20-2009, 05:04 PM
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It makes perfect sense, Got2bkid. Thank you for your post.

We did the math... and it would cost us an additional $750/year. At this point, it's not about the money, it's about principle. The court ordered that ALL daycare expenses be shared. The CM (custodial mom) says this isn't fair because the costs increase due to my husband's vacation time. Court-ordered vacation time, to add. Of course, when it comes to her vacation time, she expects us to cover 50% of that too. Her reason is that her vacation time won't be as long as constly as my husband's! If she wants each of us to cover our own vacation times, fine. But she can't have it both ways, you know what I mean. THAT is what we're fighting for.

My husband and I are doing alright. We get into these little spats from time to time, but realize we shouldn't let her get to us and affect our relationship. It's just that sometimes, it's difficult to not let it get to you, you know?

Right now, our fight is to abide by the court order, since we cannot agree on any other arrangement. Unfortunately, the CM is refusing to abide by the court order. I have a feeling we'll be back in court AGAIN soon over this. It sucks. But that's what comes with stepfamily or blended-family life.

I'm sorry to hear about your financial woes. I can sympathize. Hang in there. You're doing the best you can, and your kids will appreciate that. :-)
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