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Financial Issues This forum is for discussing any of the financial issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 12-11-2008, 10:06 AM
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Default How Do You Split Child Care Costs?

In our order, it currently states that the costs of child care will be split in proportion to income.

However, my stepson's mom's lawyer has recently sent us a letter saying that they want the child care costs split as follows:
  • If we remove the child from daycare (due to our access schedule/vacation time) then we are to pay the full rate for the absence.
  • If the child becomes ill and cannot attend daycare, then we are to cover one-half of the full rate for the absence.
  • All other costs of attendance will be split in proportion to income.
Both my fiance and I think this is absurd. They tried to pull this last time we were in court and the judge told them that ALL child care costs will be split in proportion to income, regardless of who the child is with or for what reason he is absent from daycare.

We wish to keep this order as is.

We just don't know how to go about it. Do we reply to the lawyer's letter? If so, what do we say? We're afraid that if we say that we'll abide by the current order, they will in turn request a change to that section of the order, and we'll once again have to fight against it... on our own this time.

Any thoughts? Please and thank you!
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Old 12-11-2008, 12:17 PM
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My understanding is that they are not allowed to request a change in an order unless there has been a material change in circumstances for the child.

I think this may be another scare tactic or bullying if you prefer.
If a previous judge clearly stated that "all" day care is to be proportionate to income, it's "ALL", not just what they want to include.

I'd ignore the request, and if they manage t o get a motion into court, you can self rep and simply show what a past judge ordered the last time they made the "same" request. Make sure to seek costs if she does, as this is a clear waste of valuable court time. Including travel, food, parking and lost wages, not just court related costs.
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Old 12-11-2008, 12:52 PM
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Thanks FL.

The thing is, she did not request this in her response to our motion to change. She demanded this in a letter through her lawyer. Her lawyer wrote: "She wishes you to know that you will be responsible for the costs of.... Please indicate your response to this provision as soon as possible in order that I may know if we need to ask the court to adjudicate on this matter."

We are a little hesitant about letting her lawyer know because we don't want this brought to court... again!

Any thoughts? What should we do? How should we respond?
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Old 12-12-2008, 07:08 AM
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Basically what they are saying is this is what they want you to agree to. And that they want your reply because if you agree they can implement it into the order, if you disagree they will ask the court to make a judgment on the requested change.

I would think that no reply may be perceived as agreement, I would certainly send a registered reply to the affect that you will be following the existing order as written, thereby following the judges imposed recommendations IE both pay "ALL" day care costs in proportion to their income. Perhaps a reminder to the affect that when a similar request for a change was brought before the courts, they ruled in favour of no changes.

I feel that they are just trying to bully you into the change. It appears the ex is trying to get away with not paying her share in extraordinary cases beyond her control. She wants you to foot the bill when unexpected incidences happen.

I think should this go to court you could easily self rep and ask that the existing order remain in affect since there has been no material change, (remember the onus would be on her to demonstrate that there has been a material change for the child).
I would also draw the courts attention to the fact that she tried to change this on other occasions, name the judge and state the outcome in 1 or 2 sentences.
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Old 12-12-2008, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FL_Needs_To_Change View Post
Basically what they are saying is this is what they want you to agree to. And that they want your reply because if you agree they can implement it into the order, if you disagree they will ask the court to make a judgment on the requested change.
So very true. And we see that. That is why we are hesitant to reply. We don't want to respond, and then be bombarded by other demands.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FL_Needs_To_Change View Post
I would think that no reply may be perceived as agreement, I would certainly send a registered reply to the affect that you will be following the existing order as written, thereby following the judges imposed recommendations IE both pay "ALL" day care costs in proportion to their income. Perhaps a reminder to the affect that when a similar request for a change was brought before the courts, they ruled in favour of no changes.
The last thing we want is for that to be as an agreement! We will definitely send a response... we just don't know when. How long is it safe to wait before replying? We don't want to be too eager to respond, because it will only quicken another response/letter from the lawyer with more demands.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FL_Needs_To_Change View Post
I feel that they are just trying to bully you into the change. It appears the ex is trying to get away with not paying her share in extraordinary cases beyond her control. She wants you to foot the bill when unexpected incidences happen.
Definitely true. Note that she's the one who's paying thousands of dollars in legal fees for a lawyer to fight for a couple of hundreds of dollars in child support. Completely irrational, if you ask me. I don't disagree that we are being bullied here. We are at a complete disadvantage. Her lawyer is a renown reputable lawyer whose firm specializes in family law, and is located one block from the courthouse. The courhouse is his home ground. He has golfing buddies as judges! We are self-representing, 1.5 hours from home, and fearing getting stomped on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FL_Needs_To_Change View Post
I think should this go to court you could easily self rep and ask that the existing order remain in affect since there has been no material change, (remember the onus would be on her to demonstrate that there has been a material change for the child).
I would also draw the courts attention to the fact that she tried to change this on other occasions, name the judge and state the outcome in 1 or 2 sentences.
I hope so. It is definitely the route we are going to take if it goes to court. Or should I say when? We brought forward a simple motion to change CS based on the payor losing his job. The last thing we wanted was to fight over things that have already been resolved. But then again, it doesn't surprise us in the least. This has been going on for years. She is known to make an agreement, and back out of it when it doesn't suit her anymore (even if we agreed to something she wanted).
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