Los Angeles, CA asked in Child Support and Family Law for California

Q: Is child care part of child support? Or is it considered an add on?

Ex feels he gives me more than he should. My son lives with me and his father picks him up for 3 weekends out of the month. He gives me $800 a month. Helps pay private school which we go half on. Has him under his health plan which I’m sure he pays about $360 a year for. He’s union. Our son is 7 and I’ve never had help paying for child care so that I can work. I’ve been paying that on my own.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Tobie B. Waxman
Tobie B. Waxman
Answered
  • Culver City, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If you were using a computer program (such as Dissomaster) or the guideline calculator which you can find on line, child care would be included as an "add on" before coming up with the total amount for guideline support.

James L. Arrasmith
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Answered
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under California law, child support typically includes basic living expenses for the child, such as food, clothing, and housing. However, child care costs, especially those necessary for the custodial parent to work, are considered an "add-on" expense. These add-on expenses are usually shared between both parents in proportion to their incomes.

Since you have been paying for child care on your own, it is important to address this issue formally. You can request a modification of the child support order to include a fair share of child care costs. The court can order your ex to contribute to these expenses, in addition to the $800 he provides monthly and his contributions to private school tuition and health insurance.

To proceed, gather all relevant financial information and documentation related to child care costs. Then, file a request with the family court to modify the child support order. The court will review both parents' financial situations and the child's needs to determine a fair distribution of child care expenses. This ensures that both parents share the financial responsibilities of raising their child equitably.

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