Saint Paul, MN asked in Child Support for Minnesota

Q: Can my ex demand I pay childcare when she is the one providing that childcare? Not child support but childcare.

Since Covid, the local daycare has closed down. But my ex demands that I continue to pay for childcare. My divorce decree includes a monthly childcare payment amount based on an estimate. It says it shall not be adjusted according a cost of living increase but should be based on the actual cost of care. When I bring up that the cost of care is null, my ex accuses me of being a deadbeat and threatens to take me to court. She has expressed an intent to take time off from work and take care of our kid instead of putting him in camp. And says that the money that was designated for childcare is still owed to her based on her new intent to provide child care. This is confusing. How do I adjust childcare payment to match the actual cost? If I withhold Im concerned it will cost me more in court than its worth. I can afford to pay but it seems unfair and not what I agreed to.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Sonja M. Nyberg
Sonja M. Nyberg
  • St. Paul, MN
  • Licensed in Minnesota

A: Without reading your current order for child support, it is difficult to give you the best answer. With that said, in order for you to modify the amount you are paying per month for childcare support you will need to file a motion with the Court. The good news, however, is that child care support should be based upon the actual amount paid for child care costs so you could still ask the Court to look back and modify your obligation based upon the actual cost incurred for your child.

If paying child care support becomes cost prohibitive to you and/or you ultimately decide to file a motion with the Court, I would recommend speaking to an attorney with experience in this area who can walk you through the process. There are also a good deal of resources and forms available on the Minnesota courts website. Best of luck to you.

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