Q: Do I have to pay childcare when my ex’s family members watch my daughter?
My ex husband has had custody for 3 years. I returned from deployment in January and will not be returning to work until May. Due to coronavirus, I offered to watch my daughter so that no one would miss work. Because she has school work, he feels it is more convenient for his mom, dad, or sister to watch her. It is my job to pay half of the childcare expenses, but do his family members qualify as childcare?
A: If a party is ordered to pay a share of child care expenses, this can include payment if a relative is the child care provider. That being said, a number of factors come into play when the child care provider is a relative and the specific wording in the order could likely affect whether the party is responsible for child care expenses to a relative. Generally what it boils down to is if the relative is charging both parents a reasonable child care fee, then both parents are usually going to be responsible for paying such. If the relative is really watching the child for free and trying to use this as a method to obtain additional funds from just the other parent, then the Court may see this as very suspect.
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