What if I Want to Change the Daycare My Child Attends?

March 13, 2019

One common issue that must be navigated after divorce as part of child custody processes is determining where the children will be enrolled not just in school, but also in daycare, afterschool care, wrap-around care or other types of child care.

There are several issues you must consider when dealing with child care for your children when you and your spouse are divorced. Working with a qualified child custody lawyer in Miami, FL can help make this process easier to navigate.

Daycare choice

If you are a noncustodial parent, you might be wondering whether you have any say over the daycare your child attends. Most of the time the primary decision-making power over this issue will belong to the custodial parent, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your wishes known.

Your first step should be to talk to the other parent and discuss daycare options with them. This may be easier said than done if the two of you aren’t on good terms, but it’s at least worth a shot if you have a somewhat cordial relationship. If you have any opinions about daycare options due to location, the quality of the daycare or concerns about the safety of your child, you should bring these opinions up with the other parent first. In the best-case scenario, the two of you can discuss the issue as mature adults and come to a mutually agreeable solution that is also in your child’s best interests.

If talking with the other parent isn’t an option or the other parent refuses to listen, you can file a motion and explain in court why you feel the current daycare arrangement is not in the best interest of your child. Keep in mind that what is best for the child will always be the standard the courts refer back to in custody cases. What is best for you personally does not matter. If you hope to change your child’s daycare, you should be prepared to prove that there is something about the current arrangement that is harmful (or at the very least, not advantageous) to your child.

Issues involving child support

You should also keep in mind that child care costs may be factored into your child support. How exactly the calculation will be made depends on where you live, but in most cases you can expect a 50/50 child care split, whether it’s for babysitters, in-home nannies or daycare expenses. Just because you are the parent paying support does not mean you’re automatically on the hook for paying for the bulk of child care expenses.

In addition, just because you do not like or agree with the child’s current daycare situation does not mean you should shirk your responsibility to pay for child care. That will result in you being held in contempt of court, and could lead to jail time and significant fines. If you have a problem with the current child care arrangement, go through the proper channels in court rather than simply refusing to pay your bills.

For more information, please reach out to an experienced child custody lawyer in Miami, FL at the Law Offices of Granoff & Kessler.

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