Preparing for Summer Childcare After Divorce
Childcare arrangements for the summer months are starting to be finalized, along with plans for highly anticipated vacations, summer camp, trips to the beach, and visits to see grandparents and relatives. For families of divorce, deciding who pays the childcare expenses when school is out for the summer can become a heated debate.
Who is Responsible for Summer Childcare Expenses?
Child support agreements can be challenging when it comes to figuring in the costs of summer childcare. Most courts take all childcare expenses into consideration when stipulating child support payments. When summer childcare arrangements are necessary for the custodial parent to work, payment for these services should be arranged within these guidelines.
A general rule of thumb for divorcing couples with children is to include specific arrangements for the costs of childcare for all 12 months of the year. The child support guidelines help couples allocate funds to cover these necessary expenses so that the costs do not have to be negotiated every year. The custodial parent has the right to ask for payment from the non-custodial parent when the summer camp expenses are necessary for them to work.
Couples that do not account for summer childcare expenses at the time of their divorce decree will potentially spend more money petitioning the court for payment after the divorce is final. In cases where the court must step in, most of the court’s decisions may not satisfy either parent.
Extended Visitations with the Non-Custodial Parent
Another aspect of the summer childcare dilemma occurs when the non-custodial parent has extended visitation with their children during the summer months. Many arguments are made that the non-custodial parent should be excused from child support payments when the child is staying with them for extended periods in the summer months or during holiday seasons. The law in most states requires that childcare payments continue throughout the year, so child support arrangements should take this into consideration before finalizing these agreements.
The best time to make summer childcare support arrangements is before the marriage is officially over. If the final divorce decree does not include stipulations that the non-custodial parent pay for summer activities, then they are not liable for the expenses. A petition to amend the decree is possible, but the costs involved complicate the process even further.
How a Divorce Lawyer Can Help
Childcare expenses for the entire year should be considered in child support agreements. If you are already divorced and your child support arrangements are finalized, it is not too late to claim an increase in your support award. A reputable and knowledgeable divorce lawyer can review your present arrangement and work with your ex-spouse to increase child support payments that include compensation for summer childcare. It is less stressful and cost-effective to rely on mediation to amend divorce settlements outside of the court system.
Bucks County Child Support Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Assist Clients in Drafting Parenting Plans
If you are contemplating divorce or need to amend your current child support agreement, call the Bucks County child support lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. at 888-999-1962, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. We have offices in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Pinehurst, North Carolina and represent clients throughout the surrounding areas.