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  • Writer's pictureJosh Ormond

Does Child Support in New Jersey Cover The Cost of Daycare?

Updated: Mar 12

If you’re in the process of a divorce or separation, you may be wondering how you’re going to afford the costs of childcare. As many working parents know, daycare can be expensive, and for single parents, the costs can seem daunting. 

Though the State of New Jersey does offer child care assistance or child care subsidies for income-eligible families, even this may not be enough to make daycare affordable.

Fortunately, the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines recognize that work-related childcare is an essential cost for parents. As a result, either party can request that work-related child care costs are factored into the Family Court’s child support calculation.

Thus, in addition to any basic child support owed, the parents will also share in child care or daycare related costs so long as they are necessary for the custodial parent to maintain his or her employment. So when you ask, does child support cover daycare, the answer is "yes" - if it's work related.

Daycare is covered by child support as long as the daycare is work related

These work-related childcare costs should be factored in after taking into account any tax credits available. In other words, a Guidelines calculation for child support should consider the net cost of child care (after any tax reimbursements received), not the gross cost of childcare. For example, certain individuals may qualify to claim the “child and dependent care” federal tax credit. This tax credit should be taken into account when inputting childcare expenses into the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. 

In addition, if childcare costs vary, the Court can take an average of the childcare expenses incurred and input that average into the child support formula.

Notably, the Child Support Guidelines not only contemplate “typical” childcare arrangements such as daycare, but also “day camp in lieu of childcare”. This means that if summer camp functions as childcare while the custodial parent is at work, it too can be included in an award of child support. 

Navigating child support in New Jersey can be a tricky process, particularly when you are going through the stress and emotions of a divorce or separation. Expenses for the children frequently go up when parents are living in two separate households, and costs that you may not have considered (like the cost of daycare) may start to pile up. 

Having a child support attorney by your side can not only help make the process easier, but can help ensure that neither party is overpaying and that you and your family are getting the financial support you are entitled to. For legal advice on child support and other family law issues, contact Ormond Law today for a free consultation. 

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