Your Family Matters

Are child care expenses added to the child support order?

On Behalf of | Dec 16, 2022 | family law

Illinois parents want the best for their children, but they can disagree as to how much they should pay in child support.

Courts use basic factors to calculate child support amounts, such as the child’s needs and financial resources; the parents’ financial resources and their needs; the standard of living the child had while the parents were together; the physical and emotional conditions of the parents and the child; and the parents’ income.

One issue that could increase the amount paid beyond the guidelines is child care expenses.

How do child care expenses impact child support?

Child care expenses can be added to a support order. This is done at the discretion of the court.

The order may ask one or both parents to contribute to pay for child care expenses.

Courts take into consideration the costs for a custodial parent to go to work, receive training to improve their work prospects.

These payments are not limited to finding a babysitter for the child. They can include a specific child care program, care before or after the child has gone to school, camps and other options where the child will be supervised. If the child has special needs, that will be factored in.

When calculated, the child care costs are prorated based on how much the parents earn. The circumstances can alter how much is to be paid.

For example, there may be times of the year when the parent does not need the same level of child care that they do at other times. This could be because of seasonal employment, the type of job they have and for other reasons. The payments will be averaged out over the most recent 12 months. Prospective payments can be calculated beforehand.

If there is a substantial change in circumstances, the order for these costs can be modified as needed. There must be a notification of these changes within 14 days of it going into effect.

Professional guidance

To achieve a positive result, it is useful to discuss the case and to have representation from those who have decades of experience in a wide variety of family law considerations.

Since many people who are getting divorced have young children, child care can be an integral factor in the case and how much child support will be paid.

From the beginning, it is wise to discuss the case with people who care about reaching a positive result and ensuring children and their parents get a fair child support award.