When a marriage ends, besides the emotional and mental side of things, the financial concerns of both exes may also feel heightened. In New Jersey, divorce proceedings involve dividing up both assets and debts equitably. When the marriage also includes small children, part of settling the divorcing people’s marriage is creating a plan for the care of the children. Daycare is an incredibly important concern, given the developmental needs of young children, as well as the cost of daycare. The Economic Policy Institute estimates that the average cost of daycare in the Garden State for a four-year-old child is almost $11,000 per year. This article will discuss which of the parents needs to pay for childcare costs like daycare, how expensive daycare may be, and what to do for childcare while the divorce is still in process. If you are about to take that painful, but sometimes necessary, step into divorce, please be sure to contact Sussex County child support attorney today.

Who Pays for Daycare in Divorce Proceedings?

Payments for childcare like daycare and nannies typically fall on the non-custodial parent according to the calculation stipulated in the New Jersey guidelines. Often, the divorcing parents can cooperate in determining and agreeing to a dollar value for child support. If they can’t, then the decision goes to the judge. The custodial parent will naturally assume day-to-day costs, like food and clothing. Non-custodial parents sometimes dispute having to pay for childcare during times when the custodial parent is at work.

According to New Jersey Court Rule 5:6A, the cost of a daycare or nanny is included in basic child support. In fact, the worksheets used to calculate child support overall also have a line item for “Net Work Related Childcare.”

How much of an expense childcare represents will vary depending on which services the divorcing individuals need and how many children they have. Daycare, for instance, is usually more affordable than hiring a nanny, but if the exes have several children that they plan to enroll at an expensive daycare, then the daycare option might cost more. Agreeing on childcare costs will require both divorcing individuals to compromise and to work diplomatically with each other.

Who Pays for Childcare During the Divorce?

Childcare services, like daycare, can be understood as a post-divorce issue, as post-divorce is when the childcare plan that includes the daycare agreements reached during divorce proceedings will take effect. But childcare is also necessary during the divorce itself.

As much as divorcing parents may be suffering internally, the children—and especially young children—are also going to be affected emotionally, to say nothing of the fact the former spouses are likely going to live separately before the divorce is completed. Regardless of where the adults’ headspace is, the children will still require child and attention.

Divorcing parents do not need to agree on every single part of the divorce for child support to begin. Both parents can agree on a childcare plan and once that part of the divorce discussions is completed, the custodial parent will be able to file for child support at that time.