When Does Childcare Stop Being Included in My Child Support?

Of the many expenses incurred by parents, the cost of childcare can be one of the most expensive.

When courts are determining the amount of child support one spouse needs to pay the other, several factors are included in the child support formula calculation. Childcare costs are one of those factors, as a single parent would be much more in need of daycare and other resources to maintain a job.

Children often outgrow the need for daycare and nannies. So exactly how does the court consider this when one spouse has a child support order in place?

How are childcare costs divided between parents?

The court absolutely considers childcare costs as a part of the Child Support Formula. These costs, along with others like medical care are divided between the parents based on income. So if one parent is earning considerably more than the other, they may incur the entire cost of childcare. Generally, the formula will provide an amount the payor must pay for basic child support, it will include a supplemental payment or discount for health insurance premiums paid on behalf of the child, a supplemental payment for ordinary out-of-pocket health care expenses and a supplement for childcare costs.

Michigan child support formula.

Each parent is responsible for a percent of childcare that is incurred as a result of a parent having to work during their parenting time. The percent is determined by figuring out the total income of both parents added together and then determining what percent of the entire income of both is attributable to each.

As an example, if one parent earns $60,000 per year and the other earns $40,000 per year, then the costs would be split 60/40.

Does a babysitter hired for a night out get considered in my child support?

While certain set-asides will cover emergency childcare needs, a babysitter for a night out does not get factored into the formula. As the court is mainly concerned with the best interests of the child and not a parent’s romantic or social life, there is no factor for this in the Child Support Formula.

At what age is childcare no longer a factor in the Child Support Formula?

Childcare is considered in the Child Support Formula until the first August after a child’s 12th birthday. This might sound a bit random, but when you consider the school calendar in Michigan, it makes sense. After this time, any childcare required by either parent is their sole responsibility. There are, of course, exceptions, such as a child that is unable to care for themselves due to health matters.

Child support is a touchy subject in most custody arrangements. Whether you are divorcing or simply co-parenting, you will want to consult a Michigan Family Law Attorney to help you navigate your child support order.

Need help with a child support or custody matter? Contact The Mitten Law Firm for help in Wayne or Monroe County.