Who Pays For Daycare After Divorce?

When parents seek divorce in Washington, they must work out details of with whom their children will live, as well as who will be responsible for paying child support. Additionally, they must determine what types of expenses will be included in child support payments. If you have a daycare-aged child, then it is important to learn who will be responsible for this expense.

What’s Included in a Child Support Order in Washington State?

According to the Washington Courts Marriage Family Law Handbook, a child support order -- which is signed by a judge -- will determine the payment of certain child rearing expenses. One stipulation often included in a child support order is the requirement that payments for daycare be included within the ordered child support amount.

Who Must Pay Child Support and Daycare and How is a Child Support Amount Determined?

Usually, daycare expenses are a shared expense between the parents regardless of custody. It is rare that one parent will bear the full burden of daycare costs. In most situations, the parent who is not the primary custodial parent is responsible for paying child support and part of the daycare expenses to the parent who is the primary custodial parent. Custody is determined based on the “best interests of the child” standard. Once custody is determined, the court, using the Washington Child Support Schedule, will set child support and daycare expenses. The schedule considers the parents’ income, standard of living, expenses and any other special circumstances. If the custodial parent has far more income than the noncustodial parent, for example, then the custodial parent may be responsible for paying for daycare, despite also being the recipient of a child support payment. The type of daycare and its cost may be a factor in determining whether or not it is included in a child support amount.

Learn More About How Child Support Payments Are Determined +

Where Can I Learn More About Child Custody, Child Support and Daycare?

If you are going through a divorce and have children, it’s important that you learn as much as you can about how child custody and child support determinations are made in Washington State. At the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny, our website has a variety of resources for divorcing parents, ranging from information about common custody arrangements and the child custody hearing process to common child support agreements and what the child support process is like. If you need legal representation when getting divorced, call our offices now to set up your first meeting with our team. Reach us at 425-460-0550.

Molly B. Kenny
Founder and Principal Divorce Attorney
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Molly B. Kenny's Bellevue family law office is conveniently located on Lake Bellevue Drive, making it easily accessible to those in the greater Seattle area. Our divorce and child custody lawyers help men and women get the information, guidance, and compassionate representation they need.
Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny