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Father wonders why he should pay daycare expenses to unemployed mother

Your Question:
I am a father of an 18 month old son. I am paying 135.00 bi- weekly to the custodial mother in child support.(New York State) I also am paying the daycare expenses of 125.00 bi- weekly to the custodial mother. However, the mother is not working and is home full time, but is still sending our son to daycare. I was wondering if there is a way to stop paying the daycare expenses, since the mother is at home and capable of taking care of our son?

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My Answer:

Thanks for writing.

I think you're asking a pretty technical legal question that only a New York family law attorney would be able to answer with certainty.

That said, it's my understanding of California law that shared cost of childcare can only be ordered if it's being used for legitimate job training, income-producing work, or pursuit of income-producing work. I have no idea if New York has the same approach, but it'd make sense if it did.

If so, you'd probably want to modify the daycare expense orders to reflect half of actual daycare costs tied to employment. In my own case, my judge granted my motion that I pay half of actual daycare costs and that I'm to pay it directly to the childcare provider (i.e., minimize opportunity for mother to lie about the cost). This modified a prior order wherein I paid a flat additional amount to the mother as a contribution to childcare. Because the mother has claimed for years to work 4 hours weekly (during my custodial time), her income-related childcare costs are exactly zero. So, I pay half of that.

While you can't control if your ex hires babysitters or daycare providers, I think you have a reasonable position that you shouldn't pay for any of it simply because the mother doesn't want to be a full-time parent while unemployed.


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