Do I Have to Pay Daycare Expenses in Addition to My Child Support?

illinois child support attorneyDo I have to pay daycare or preschool expenses in addition to my child support?

In Illinois, daycare or preschool expenses are in addition to child support. Child support is ordered by a judge or administrative hearing officer in Illinois. Guidelines established by Illinois statute are used Judges to set child support' For example. Illinois guideline child support is 20 percent of the paying party's net income for one child, 28 percent for two children, 33 percent for three children, and 40 percent for four children and so forth. This percentage is applied against net income.

"Net income" has a very specific definition under Illinois statute and typically refers to gross income from all sources including overtime deductions for Federal and Illinois State income taxes, health and life insurance and certain other deductions that are deducted from gross income to arrive at net income. At this point in Illinois law the mother's income is not relevant to the calculation of the Fathers child support but this may change soon. So you may want to check back with our blog to be up to date.

Divorced parents or parents in a paternity case that do not have custody pay child support and in addition are routinely ordered to contribute toward their child's daycare or preschool expenses. There are no guideline as to the amount that the Father or payor is required to pay. Illinois judges usually look to each person's income and ability to contribute towards these expenses. They are not necessarily divided 50-50.

Tips to be aware of if you are ordered to pay after school expense or preschool expense:

If you are in the process of settling your divorce case or paternity case, make sure that the settlement agreement or order clearly sets forth the amount you're are to pay for child care and preschool expenses and when the payments are due. Sounds simple but many times these are not clearly written- so check to be sure you understand what you have agreed to pay and when.

If you are the paying party, you should therefore do the following:

  • If you pay the mother or custodial parent directly you should be sure to pay with a check or get a receipt for each cash payment made.
  • If you are paying a daycare provider directly be sure to get a receipt for any payment that you make and keep a record of all such payments so that you can prove that you're current and have complied with your obligation under the Court order.
  • If you are reimbursing the mother for childcare or preschool expenses you should be sure to get those expenses on time as they arise and not allow the mother to accumulate them and give them to you in a batch. In fact you should require it to be written into your divorce or paternity settlement order that unless the bills are given to you within a stated time you do not have to pay them.
  • You should also have it written into your settlement agreement that you have a voice in choosing the daycare provider or preschool for your child.

If you are the party receiving contribution for daycare or after school care you should do the following:

  • Keep a record of all of the payments you have received and if you are paid by money order or check keep a copy of each money order or checks. Your cellphone camera works nicely for this.
  • If you are being reimbursed by the Father for payments that you have paid for childcare or preschool be sure to send the father copies of the payments you have made with cover letters, and do so as soon as you receive a bill from the childcare provider. In other words, don't let the bills simply accumulate and then give them all at once to the Father since they will be harder to collect that way and more likely disputed by him.
  • Don't forget to keep copies of those letters and bills that you send to the father. These will be your proof in court if you need to collect your share of childcare expenses.

Contact an Illinois child support attorney at Martoccio & Martoccio for assistance with your family law case. Call 630-920-8855 for a free consultation.

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