Day Care Expenses: Three Things to Know
Day care can be a huge monthly expense, and can be one of many reasons to modify child support. Chances are, if your child or children are in day care, this monthly expense likely doubles or triples what you pay for your car, and can even be close to what you pay in rent or a mortgage. Luckily, Colorado Revised Statute 14-10-115 allows for an adjustment in child support for day care expenses. As a result, it is imperative that these expenses are accurately calculated and included on a child support worksheet. Here are three things to know about day care expenses for purposes of calculating child support:
- You Need Proof – you can’t just tell the Judge what you pay, you have to show the Judge what you pay. Cancelled checks, credit card statements, and letters from a day care provider are typical ways to prove these expenses. However, you will need to make sure that these documents comply with the Rules of Evidence if you want your documentation to be reviewed by the Judge at a hearing.
- You Need to Be Reasonable – you don’t get to enroll your child in the most expensive program or provide them with a live-in nanny if that’s not reasonable based on the amount of money that you or your child’s other parent earn. If you want to get credit for the day care expenses that you incur, they need to be reasonable, and appropriate for your income. You can certainly spend money on education or child care that is above your standard of living, but don’t expect your child’s other parent to share in that expense.
- They Won’t Last Forever – day care expenses are often so significant that they may double the amount of child support. But they won’t last forever. Your children will eventually get older, and as they do these expenses will become less and less. Plan accordingly. You don’t want to budget your money such that you will always receive or pay the same amount of child support – you won’t. If your day care expenses are set to drop off drastically, plan to budget with a reduced amount of child support in mind.
Don’t take the issue of day care expenses lightly. Be sure to have a detailed conversation with your attorney about how much money you spend on day care, both during the school year and summer. Contact me for a free consultation to talk about your day care expenses and how they affect your child support.