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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 10-11-2010, 03:41 PM
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Default How to handle child care with shared custody

My ex and I have shared custody of our children approximately 50% of the time for the past 6 months, although my percentage has been closer to 30% for the past 2 weeks due to my regular babysitter (my mother) no longer being available. I'm quickly looking for a suitable replacement.

Although my ex and I have gotten along fairly well over the past few months, she has shown no interest in signing a separation agreement. She has also shown no interest in working, and remains content to stay at home collecting government assistance. However, I pay child support based on the notion that her income is equal to what it would be were she working full-time at minimum wage, and she hasn't balked at that.

It's my understanding that child care should be split between the parents proportional to income. Is this something that we necessarily have to agree to? Can I require her to pay her share without an agreement? Should I also be considering her income as though she were working full-time at minimum wage for this purpose?

Should I pay the day care provider the full cost and bill her according to her share? If she refuses to pay, I'm thinking it would be a bad idea to take it out of my child support payments... I have visions of that coming back to haunt me ("he's been paying less child support than he should!"). Even if I were to memo the cheques as "child support minus child care", I'm not sure that's a great option. How should I handle this situation?
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Old 10-11-2010, 03:51 PM
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It sounds like you have no current orders. I would go to court and get an order setting the access, and support issues. To set her income, you may need to ask that her income be imputed, since she does not work.

Depending on the income of both parties, there may not be any child support payable to either party, or as you have been doing, based on a shared parenting arrangement.

The daycare payable is a section 7 expense. This is based upon both parent's income. If she is not working, but is capable, you can ask that her income be imputed, and then she will be forced to pay her portion of the daycare expense.
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Old 10-11-2010, 03:54 PM
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Thanks for your reply, rmw1273. You are correct in thinking we have no current orders. So far everything has been done by informal agreement, and so far it's going fine. I would much rather have a signed agreement.

I've been paying child support based on the Federal tables, so I know I'm paying the proper amount (unless a judge were to refuse to inpute her income, for whatever reason). I'd really rather not have to get an order, but if she refuses to pay, it sounds like that may be my best course of action. I'd rather not ruffle feathers, but without an agreement, it's probably unavoidable.
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Old 10-11-2010, 04:16 PM
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Agreements are not as binding as an order. I would recommend you get an order, and if you are able to communicate with your ex, then you may be able to get an order by consent. This would limit the ruffled feathers as much as possible, and will help to ensure that you do not have problems down the road.
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Old 10-11-2010, 05:35 PM
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Who is collecting the CCTB/UCCB payments? Have you informed CRA of the change in the living arrangements and custody?

Does her support worker know you are paying Child Support? Here's the issue....anything you pay her for Child Support, is supposed to come out dollar for dollar from her income assistance check.
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:54 AM
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If she is staying home, then why do you need childcare at all??
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Old 11-05-2010, 01:34 AM
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I have news. But first, to answer some questions. She collects the CCTB/UCCB payments still; the CRA is taking its sweet time in processing my application to have it split. Her support worker presumably has no idea that I'm paying her child support. We live in different cities, and I'm not satisfied having custody only on weekends, which is going to necessitate that the children are in day care a couple days a week when they're in my custody.

I'm going to have to get an order, as my ex is unwilling to pay her fair share voluntarily. She told me that she can't afford it, and asked if I wanted my children to starve. I advised her of her responsibilities to provide for my children when they're in her care.

She's told me that her case worker has informed her that she is permitted to stay at home and care for the children until they're school-aged. That's new to me... especially if we have shared custody of the children. If true, that's going to be a significant problem unless the order goes through.

How do I get started on the order? I'm going to look into it now, but figured I'd ask in case I come up short.
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:57 AM
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For questions regarding her eligibility for Ontario Works, etc. you should check out the Ontario Works Act:

Ontario Works Act, 1997 - O. Reg. 134/98

In particular:

Reduction of Budgetary Requirements (Shared Custody) — General

44.2 If it has been determined that a member of a benefit unit is eligible to receive the Canada Child Tax Benefit for six months over a 12-month period (shared eligibility for the Canada Child Tax Benefit) in respect of a child or shares physical custody of a child on an approximately equal basis, as determined under subclause 2 (3) (c) (ii), the amount payable for that child under paragraphs 1, 2, 4 and 6 of subsection 41 (1), paragraphs 2, 3 and 6 of subsection 44 (1) and paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 5 of subsection 44 (3) shall be reduced by 50 per cent. O. Reg. 226/08, s. 5.

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