Divorce and custody arrangements often bring up unique financial situations, especially regarding child care costs. A recent inquiry from the Modern Divorce support group was answered by Billie Tarascio Arizona family law attorney and Modern Law Founder, presented a fascinating scenario: a mother, co-owner of the daycare her child attends, wondered if her ex-husband is still responsible for sharing child care costs.
The Scenario: Ownership and Child Care Costs
The mother, in the process of buying the daycare her daughter attends, shares 50/50 custody and decision-making with the father. Traditionally, they have split daycare costs. The question arises: if she becomes the owner of the daycare, is the father still obligated to pay half of the child care costs, even though she would profit from the business?
Legal Insights on Child Care Costs in Divorce
Tarascio explains that there’s no clear-cut answer to this unique situation. The court order likely states that child care costs should be divided equally. If the mother doesn’t incur any out-of-pocket daycare expenses, the father might not be required to contribute. However, if the mother bills herself for child care and pays it, there’s a possibility that the father could be ordered to share these costs. Child care isn’t free, even if the parent owns the daycare, so sharing the costs could still be reasonable and probable.
- Court Orders and Child Care Costs: The specifics of the court order regarding child care expenses play a crucial role in determining financial responsibilities.
- Ownership Doesn’t Eliminate Costs: Owning a daycare doesn’t negate the costs of child care, and sharing these costs could still be a fair expectation.
- Communication is Key: In such unique situations, open communication between parents and legal advisors is essential to find a mutually agreeable solution.
This scenario underscores the complexities of handling child care costs in divorce, particularly when business ownership intersects with parental responsibilities. It highlights the importance of carefully considering the terms of custody agreements and seeking legal guidance to navigate these intricate situations.
Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For specific legal guidance, please consult a qualified attorney.