Who Pays for Childcare after Divorce?

Child Custody
Who Pays for Childcare after Divorce?

Who Pays for Childcare after Divorce?

Divorced parents are more likely to work long hours, which translates to spending less time with their children. It can be a difficult balancing act, and one of the most significant variables relates to who pays for childcare after divorce. If you find yourself asking this question, turn to an experienced Illinois divorce attorney for the legal guidance you need.

Where Will My Child Attend Daycare?

If your child was attending daycare prior to your divorce, he or she should continue attending the same daycare after divorce. This is based on the fact that you and your spouse presumably made the decision regarding childcare together and because the court presumes that you are both fit parents (which is the court’s starting position, and which must be disproved before it will take a different stance). Further, the court’s motivation to uphold the best interests of the child tends to include upholding the status quo, which is generally considered easier on children. 

If Your Child Didn’t Attend Daycare Prior to Divorce

If your child didn’t attend daycare prior to divorce, your divorce can certainly change that. The matter of where your child will attend daycare will be addressed in your case’s Allocation of Parenting Time and Parental Responsibilities, which governs who will be making the important decisions in your children’s lives. Parental responsibilities include making big-picture decisions, such as:

  • Your children’s education (and/or daycare)
  • Your children’s religious education
  • Your children’s medical care and treatment
  • Your children’s extracurricular activities

If you and your ex have joint parental responsibility and share decision-making equally, you’ll determine where your child attends daycare together. If one of you has sole parental responsibility or sole parental responsibility regarding the matter of education and daycare, that parent will make the decision. 

Things Tend to Become More Complicated from Here

Even if you have sole decision-making power when it comes to your child’s education, you’ll likely need to confer with your ex and at least attempt to come to a decision together. Further, if the daycare is affiliated with a church, synagogue, mosque – or has another religious affiliation – the decision may be deemed a religious decision, which could tip the power balance (if, for example, your ex has been granted sole decision-making power regarding religious decisions). When it comes to straight daycare without the educational component of preschool, the court will usually side with the option that is the least expensive while remaining safe for the child and reasonably convenient for both parents. 

But Who Pays?

Childcare costs are typically apportioned according to each parent’s child support obligation. For ease of example, let’s say that your ex is responsible for 60 percent of your child’s financial support, and you are responsible for 40 percent. In this example, your ex will also be responsible for 60 percent of your child’s daycare expenses, while you will be responsible for 40 percent. 

An Experienced Illinois Divorce Attorney Can Help You Answer Who Pays for Childcare after Divorce

The well-respected Illinois divorce attorneys at SAM LAW OFFICE, LLC, are ready to help you resolve your divorce concerns favorably. For more information, please don’t wait to contact us today.  





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