Who Pays for Daycare After Divorce?


For parents of young children, childcare is a major household expense. So it's not surprising that who pays for daycare is often a concern during a Pasadena divorce.

Typically, the court will order that each parent pay fifty percent of the daycare expenses that are necessary for the custodial parent to be employed full time. However, if the parents have widely varying incomes, a different percentage split might be ordered so as not to unfairly burden the lower earning parent.

In most cases, the noncustodial parent is expected to abide by the daycare decision of the custodial parent. But problems can arise if the noncustodial parent feels the cost of daycare is excessive. For example, a noncustodial parent might argue that it's unfair to expect him/her to pay for part of the cost of a full time live-in nanny if the nanny is also performing domestic duties such as cooking or housekeeping and there are plenty of quality child care centers with openings in the area.

In families that have more than one infant or toddler, the cost of childcare can easily outstrip a mortgage payment. If one parent stayed at home to care for the children while the couple was married, it may actually be cost effective to continue to have a stay at home parent after the divorce. Salaries for workers with gaps in their employment history tend to be low enough that the cost of daycare might erase any financial gain from working.

Another way to get around the high cost of daycare would be to arrange visitation schedules so that full time daycare is not needed. While not workable in every situation, this option is something to consider if you will be living near your ex after the divorce and have a positive co-parenting relationship.

How Can We Help?

Please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com if you have questions about child support, child custody, visitation, and/or daycare expenses. Our Pasadena family law attorneys are here to advocate for the interests of both you and your children.