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 Can I get child care costs in addition to child support?

Family Lawyer Arlington, TX

Child care costs are on the rise in Texas. In fact, parents of a four year old toddler can expect to pay $7000 annually. Even more so, parents can expect to pay more than tuition for an in-state public college when caring for an infant. The question now becomes, how are parents, especially divorced co-parents, expected to cover these extra costs? Can I receive these extra child care costs in addition to the child support I receive regularly?

Let’s start with explaining child support, specifically in Texas. According to an Arlington, TX family lawyer from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC., in Texas, physical possession decides who pays child support. So, the parent that spends less with the child, the non-custodial parent, pays child support to the custodial parent, the parent that has the child the majority of the time. The amount of child support paid is decided upon based on that parent’s income. This payment is intended to help cover the cost of caring for the child. However, the assumption is that the custodial parent pays child support by paying for the daily child care costs.

Now, the answer is not as simple as that single assumption, as it can change on a case by case basis. In some cases, if both parents have adequate financial resources, the courts can rule that both parents share the costs of child care and extracurricular activities. In general, however, extracurricular activities are not included in basic child support. This may include dance lessons, sports, summer camps and registration fees or uniforms required for these extracurriculars. As the child gets older, prom dresses, cars, and car insurance are also all considered extra costs that are not calculated into the child support payment. It is also important to note that while an ex may have paid these costs during the marriage, they have no legal obligation to continue payment after the divorce.

In general, daycare of younger children is included in child support payments. However, it must be agreed upon in court at what age the child will no longer require daycare. Furthermore, if the custodial parent has a change in their work or schooling hours that requires a change to the amount of time the child spends in daycare, this must also be discussed beforehand. Because of the thought and detail required in deciding child support in a divorce case and to save yourself from future disputes and financial disasters, it is important to consult with a family law attorney.