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Should father have to pay for school lunches and daycare in addition to child support?

Your Question:
My husband was not married to the birthmother due to her infidelities before marriage occured. She has primary custody 51% and we have 49% (this means she stays with her mother on Sunday nights).

My husband pays and extremely high amount for support due to local law. The only outline we have that tells us what the money is to be used for is food, clothing and shelter. That's it. The latest is lunch money. She expects us to pay for lunches. I've informed my husband that this is covered in the child support amount. He says - well I don't want to have to go to domestics so I'll just pay it. That's another 500.00/yr. on top of that, she expects us to split day care/babysitter costs for the days that my stepdaughter is with her but doesn't have school that day. I told my hsbnd that this is only negotiable if we would also need day care those days - which we do not. Am I right sayig that we do not have to pay 1/2? what's next? paying for a sitter while she goes out to dinner????

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My Answer:

Thanks for writing.

I know it's tough for you, since household finances have an impact on your home, but I also think you should let Dad call the shots on what he wants to do about all this.

My guess is that a court may rule that whomever takes the child to school should make sure the child has lunch or lunch money. If it's a pre-paid program (e.g., paid monthly), I'd assume that the cost of lunch is included in child support, since it's supposed to support meals while in the other parent's care.

Regarding childcare, I'd suggest that Dad can care for the child when the mother can't. Then, it's her choice to use Dad to care for the child, or pay for it with someone else.

The ultimate remedy may require a return to court to clarify exact costs that are to be shared.

But again, I suggest that you let Dad handle it and find a way to reduce your stress about it. That'd probably be best for your marriage, and the health of your marriage is entirely in the control of you and your husband; while problems with the ex are out of that control.


This website gives common sense advice that is not intended to act as legal guidance nor psychological guidance. The author is neither an attorney nor licensed psychologist. For specific legal guidance or specific psychological guidance, consult with a licensed professional.

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