Is Daycare Included In Child Support In Florida?
Often, during negotiations over the terms of a marital settlement agreement or a paternity agreement (child support and a parenting plan), one party will ask that day care expenses be kept separate from the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet. This is generally not the optimal approach. To best answer the question, “is daycare included in child support in Florida,” it is important to note that in a majority of family law cases, the court requires that day care expenses be included in Child Support Guidelines Worksheets. Ensuring the child has a safe and nurturing environment while the parents are working is in the child’s best interest. This brings us to the Florida day care child support obligation.
Florida Child Support Statute
The parties must exchange Child Support Guidelines Worksheets to ensure the child support calculations are accurate and truly represent the information provided on the Financial Affidavits, pay stubs, tax returns, etc. Statutorily, as stated concisely in Florida Statute 61.30(7), child care costs such as daycare incurred as a direct result of one or both parties working (career necessities), looking for work, or obtaining an education with the intend of becoming employed or earning a promotion, MUST be added to the Worksheets. The Florida Daycare Child Support Obligation is that both parties must contribute according to their financial ability to do so. To better answer our question, is daycare included in child support in Florida, yes in most cases it is barring some reasonable explanation that allows for an exception to be made. This is when a Motion to Deviate from Child Support Guidelines may be appropriate.
Florida Daycare Child Support Obligation
The one caveat the Statute offers regarding the Florida Daycare Child Support Obligation is that “Child care costs may not exceed the level required to provide quality care from a licensed source.” Is daycare included in child support in Florida? In a sense, the Statute encourages parents to find a reputable and licensed child care/daycare provider to look after their children. Mostly, the Florida Legislature and the courts are seeking to compel the parents to find a reasonably-priced day care that does not overburden their finances, nor cause significant disagreements about the provider’s quality.
Is Daycare Included In Child Support In Florida? A Short Hypothetical About the Florida Daycare Child Support Obligation
Hypothetically speaking, if there are two day care facilities and one costs $170 per month for an infant, the other costs $230 a month, both parties should consider finding a middle ground. Find a day care that is relatively nearby, which costs $200 a month and has the option of a camera to observe your child(ren) while they are being cared for.
“Is daycare included in child support in Florida?” Judges prefer when the parties do their best to compromise. Break ups are often full of bitterness and they often cause distrust. Just because the parties are no longer “together,” does not make them bad parents or incapable of making rational adult decisions in the best interest of their children. Think carefully about whether your actions represent the best interest of your children, or are a reaction to the breakdown of your relationship. Daycare is vital to the health and security of children when parents work full time and there are no other family members available to help with child care.
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Jonathan Jacobs is a Divorce Attorney In Clermont Florida, a Divorce Attorney in Orlando Florida, and helps his clients in the surrounding counties. Call the Jacobs Law Firm today for a consultation in your family law case regarding the Florida Daycare Child Support Obligation at (407) 310-5636, or e-mail us to schedule an appointment. Jonathan@JJLawFL.com