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Contribution to Daycare

Contribution to Daycare

By Maury D. Beaulier, Esq.

A common question for divorcing parties is "who pays for the daycare?" As an additional obligation, Minnesota Statutes now require the non-custodial parent to contribute to any child care expenses incurred as a result of the custodial parent's employment or schooling. The expenses are divided only after deducting twenty-five percent (25%) from the total daycare costs since the custodial parent is entitled to a tax deduction in that approximate percentage each year. In other words, if the daycare costs equal $800 each month, the portion divided between the parents is only 75% of that figure or $600. Those allowable child care costs are divided between the parties proportionate to their income.

For example, let's say dad earns $2,000 net per month and mom earns $3,000 net per month. Let's say dad has physical custody of the one minor child from the relationship. Mom would have a guideline child support obligation pursuant to Minnesota Statutes of $750 for one child (25% of her net income). Each parties' contribution to daycare expenses is then calculated based on their proportionate share of the total household income.

Mom has $2,250 each month after deducting her child support obligation of $750. Dad will have $2,750 per month after adding in the child support paid to him by mom. The total income is $5,000. Therefore, mom's proportionate responsibility for daycare expenses is calculated by determining her percentage of the total income. That percentage is determined by dividing mom's income by the total income ($2,250 divided by $5000 = .45) or 45%. In this example, mom's proportionate responsibility would be 45% of the allowable child care costs or $270 ($600 x .45).


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