children in child care

How Are Childcare Expenses Divided After Divorce?

Divorce can be expensive on a number of levels. The process itself can be costly, but so can the financial impact of going from one household with two incomes to one household on a single income. To minimize the impact and make for a smoother transition to the next chapter of your life, planning and budgeting can be key. Being familiar with the expenses you will be responsible for covering and which you may receive support for in the form of alimony or child support will be important. This is why being clear on things like how childcare expenses will be divided after divorce can minimize a lot of unnecessary headaches after your divorce is finalized.

How Are Childcare Expenses Divided After Divorce?

Child support usually covers expenses related to providing for a child’s basic needs, such as food, clothing, and central. It will also generally cover medical care and educational expenses. For the purposes of calculating child support in Arizona, because of the high costs of childcare, childcare costs are considered separately from those other general costs of raising a child. The state courts address childcare costs as a “deviation factor.” This means that a judge may take the cost of childcare into account when determining the amount of child support to be paid. The judge, in turn, may raise the amount ordered in child support payments in order to cover the cost of childcare.

Prior to determining the amount of child support that will be due, the judge will first need to consider the custody arrangement. The parent who has custody of the child most of the time will be set to receive child support while the other parent will be responsible for making the child support payments. In cases where there will be joint custody, the parent who makes more money may be the paying parent or neither payment will pay child support as the arrangement may be considered equitable time and not necessitating child support payments.

For costs not covered by child support payments or in cases where there is no child support order established, you may wish to have a written agreement in place with your co-parent as to how other childcare costs will be divided. The more specific and detailed you are with such an agreement, the more manageable everyone’s expectations for the arrangement are likely to be. In the agreement, you can outline things like agreed-upon extracurricular activities for your children. The default is that no parent actually has an obligation to pay any portion of the expenses associated with extracurricular activities. As they are considered extra as opposed to mandatory, you will be on the hook for paying the whole bill on what can add up to be costly extracurricular activities without an agreement in place.

In your agreement, you can outline how you will divide specific childcare expenses, such as summer camp, sports, and other extracurricular activities as well as the purchasing of the necessary supplies. You can detail how the payments will be made to one parent or another. You can also specify when these payments should be made.

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