Who Has to Pay for Child Care While the Children Stay With the Other Parent for the Summer?
The answer will depend on the terms contained in the divorce decree. It may be possible to request clarification from the court. It may also be possible for the non-custodial parent to seek modification of a support order based on a significant change of circumstances.
The court must use the Child Support Guidelines adopted by the state in setting the amount of child support, unless the court specifically finds that following the guidelines would be unjust and inappropriate. The court combines the income of the divorcing parents, determines from the guidelines the applicable amount of child support for the number of children of the marriage based upon that income, adjusts this amount for work-related child care expenses and health insurance premiums, and then assigns a portion of that support amount to the non-custodial parent based on his/her percentage share of the combined income.
When the court determines that the custodial parent is seeking work and incurs child care expenses, the court may apportion the expenses between the custodial and non-custodial parent.
The following is a TX statute:
§ 154.123 FAM. Additional Factors for Court to Consider
(a) The court may order periodic child support payments in an amount
other than that established by the guidelines if the evidence rebuts the
presumption that application of the guidelines is in the best interest of
the child and justifies a variance from the guidelines.
(b) In determining whether application of the guidelines would be
unjust or inappropriate under the circumstances, the court shall consider
evidence of all relevant factors, including:
(1) the age and needs of the child;
(2) the ability of the parents to contribute to the support of the
(3) any financial resources available for the support of the
(4) the amount of time of possession of and access to a child;
(5) the amount of the obligee's net resources, including the earning
potential of the obligee if the actual income of the obligee is
significantly less than what the obligee could earn because the obligee
is intentionally unemployed or underemployed and including an increase or
decrease in the income of the obligee or income that may be attributed to
the property and assets of the obligee;
(6) child care expenses incurred by either party in order to
maintain gainful employment;
(7) whether either party has the managing conservatorship or
actual physical custody of another child;
(8) the amount of alimony or spousal maintenance actually and
currently being paid or received by a party;
(9) the expenses for a son or daughter for education beyond secondary
(10) whether the obligor or obligee has an automobile, housing, or
other benefits furnished by his or her employer, another person, or a
(11) the amount of other deductions from the wage or salary income
and from other compensation for personal services of the parties;
(12) provision for health care insurance and payment of uninsured
(13) special or extraordinary educational, health care, or other
expenses of the parties or of the child;
(14) the cost of travel in order to exercise possession of and access
to a child;
(15) positive or negative cash flow from any real and personal
property and assets, including a business and investments;
(16) debts or debt service assumed by either party; and
(17) any other reason consistent with the best interest of the
child, taking into consideration the circumstances of the parents.