Child Care and Child Support During Visitation

Updated on July 14, 2010
A.A. asks from Tallahassee, FL
13 answers

I have 2 beautiful daughters who love their father dearly. In February, my ex and I agreed to let him have the girls for 6 weeks over the summer. He asked for this amount of time to help reduce his child support obligations. I agreed. Now that it is time that he gets them for the summer he has told me that he expects for me to pay childcare and summer camp expenses for them while he has them for the 6 weeks AND provide clothes or he will not get them. That will create a significant financial hardship on me as summer childcare costs are $250 per week and I had not budgeted for paying that all summer. He currently pays $350 a month for the two girls (yes, total) and he thinks I should return that during the 6 week visitation as well.
Does anyone know what the law says? Am I right that he should be paying for all their expenses during his 6 weeks like I do the other 46 weeks of the year or is he right?

Thank you!

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answers from Portland on

I so sorry he says pay or he won't get them. It's like black mail. Especially if they know they are supposed to go with the father they dearly love.

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answers from Dallas on

I am not familiar with Florida law however I am familiar with both Texas and Virginia law in regards to this situation. My response is based on my personal experience in both states. Unless it is written otherwise in your court order, when the non-custodial parent has the child/children it is their responsibility to pay for the care of them during that period. Child support that is due during that period of time is still due. I currently have my 16 year old whom I pay child support to my ex and he is with me all summer. My child support obligation is still due and payable. While he is with me, I pay all expenses just as when he is with his dad, his dad pays all expenses.

Whether he can afford summer camp, daycare, etc. during his visitaion is his problem not yours!

Maybe he will realize how hard it is for you the other 46 weeks of the year on the small amount of child support he pays!

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answers from Dallas on

Hun, hate to break it to ya, but when he gets the kids has NOTHING to do with his obligations for child support. Whether he gets them 6 weeks or 6 days, he still pays the same and it's not YOUR responsibility to pay for ANYTHING extra for him to keep the kids (ie: my ex lives in Ohio, gets the kids for 6 to 8 weeks in the summer. NOTHING about the kids allotment or anything else changes and I am NOT and will not pay for child care at his house and he does not pay for child care in mine).

Location has ZERO to do with obligations.

Now if it's in the divorce decree/child support order, that's a different story...but if he wants the kids he has to take ALL of their expenses as well.

Then remind him about hos hard it is to raise said kidlets on his measley $350. Just sayin...

Good luck to you.

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answers from New York on

Child support has nothing to do with visitations. I'm going to assume this was not spelled out in your divorce paperwork. I'd say to let him keep the support money during the 6 weeks he has the children however he is not entitled to any additional money. In fact he's not even entitled to keep the support money since that's not tied to visitations.

What he chooses to do with the children during his 6 weeks is his obligation to pay for. Would he expect you to pay the expenses if he decided to take them on a 6 week cruise? Expect you to cough up money if he wanted to take them to McDonald's twice a week for 6 weeks? He's being immature to expect you to take on all the expenses during his time with them.

Hopefully it'll open his eyes to seeing exactly how much time, energy and money children cost and how little $350.00 goes toward meeting those needs.

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answers from Dallas on

I don't think legally you are responsible for doing any of that. He is responsible for childcare while they are in his care. You could give him the child support back during that time period but you are not legally required to.

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answers from Jackson on

The law is different wherever you live. I have one daughter who's dad "pays" 169/mo. It is my understanding that if they have the child for MORE than four weeks in a row child support will not be granted to the other party. So yes, he should get the $350 back. However, it is the dad's responsibility to pay for the child while they are there. The courts only suggest that the other party keep clothes of their own but don't require it. There is no reason for you to pay for daycare, and if you agree to the camp you should pay for half as that is an extra expense.

If the courts have ruled on time and support you should look up your specific rules. They usually have a book or even post online.

Good luck

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answers from Toledo on

In Ohio, the "standard court schedule" states that the non-residential parent is entitled to a minimum of 1 mid-week visit, every-other weekend overnight visits, every-other holiday, as well as 6 weeks of visitation during the summer (for school-aged kids), be it all at once or broken up into 1 week periods...that is up to the parent who is entitled the visitation. Child support remains the same throughout the year. It is the responsibility of the custodial parent to provide clothing that would be standard at home for such a period of time. If the NR parent requires special clothing, he/she must provide it him/herself. He must also bear any and all cost associated for his time with the children...including travel, food and childcare expenses.

Unless there are provisions in your in your divorce/custody order that say otherwise then you can go by the state court order. Your state should have a copy of that standard schedule/order on a website, just do a little search for your state/county.

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answers from Washington DC on

You are not responsible for their child care expenses and summer camp expenses while they are with him (well, actually you could agree to pay for half of the summer camp expenses, that's pretty normal, but not child care). You are also not repsonsible for returning child support during that time frame. The purpose of child support is to help maintain their portion of your household. It is not tied to visitation in most states. He has NO grounds to ask that of you.

If he is unable to bear the expense of them visiting then he will have to forfeit that visitation. If you still live close enough, he can just bring the girls to you while he's at work instead of putting them into child-care. If not, then he'll have to either deal with the child-care expenses, or deal with no visitation. Period.

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answers from Miami on

You need to chat with your attorney. if he wanted the girls over the summer then he gets the expenses that go with it. It's not unreasonable to think you'd pack them the clothes they already have to use at his house.

As for what the law says in FL ... you have to see your parenting plan/agreement as to whether support is abated in during the visitation period. Most of the time, it is NOT because the child support obligation has already been reduced to account for the number of days he has visitation with the children. Not only that, the child support worksheet gives a total child support obligation for the year and then divides it by 12, not 10.5. in the vast majority of the cases, the non-custodial parent is STILL obligated to pay child support during the visitation period.

As for me, my ex arbitrarily decided that he won't pay support during the summer since he has to pay to fly our kids to visit him and for their summer expenses. It's been 10 years now and although I still have school prep expenses and school registration fees, tuition and whatnot, he doesn't send a penny in June of July of any year. I don't have the cash to pay an attorney the $3000-5000 it would take to hammer out the details and go back to court about it. I'd rather suck it up and deal with it myself than throw $$ i don't have at an attorney and all the headaches that come with that process.

Regardless, in 99% of the situations, child care expenses are HIS responsibility during his custodial period, not yours.

I had to choose my battle. Good luck with yours.

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answers from Orlando on

He still pays child support and he also is responsible for any costs while he has the girls. Unless your divorce / custody agreement states otherwise.

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answers from New York on

It all depends on what your divorce agreement says. Have you put anything in writing in regards to this 6 week period? If not, then you are not legally responsible for anything. I would however, let him keep the $350.00 that he pays a month, but legally if that what the court has ordered then he still has to pay you that even if he has the kids. Since you're, custodial parent, does he pay for Your daycare expenses or a portion of it? As for clothing, you could let them bring some clothes, I guess, but doesn't he have any clothing for them at his house?

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answers from Rockford on

He's full of it. He pays for whatever they do when the kids are there. My ex lived out of state and had my boys during summer months. He wanted me to pay back the support for those months and help pay for their flights out there but I did not. I maintain their house, their insurance, buy their clothing, pay for all sport and educational expenses, and on and on. It is exponentially so much more expensive to maintain their regular home than it is for him to have them over for vacation for a few weeks. There is just no comparison, so no, he should not recieve money from you at all.

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answers from Detroit on

i think maybe you could ask him to compromise. ask him if you can just give back the support that you recieve for them for the time that he has them. that's what me and my boyfriend did. we have his daughter for the whole summer and her mother was going to give us the money back but since he has been sick and can't pay she is just going to cancel the support prder all together.( she put him on out of bitterness anyway). and if he does have to pay for chilcare ask if you can pay half or maybe even a third. be reasonable if he says no then maybe you might have to keep the girls for more of the summer if you cannot afford for them to be there like that. i wish you good luck

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