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FamilyAnswer
FamilyAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 28366
Experience:  10 + years of handling Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support cases
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I have a California family law question. My question is

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I have a California family law question
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: yes, my question is regarding mandatory add on to child support
JA: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: ca
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I pay child support that includes a mandatory add on of half her childcare costs. She has chosen to pay a nanny an exorbitant amount of money and I am wondering how I can challenge this

Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help with your question and concern

Good morning. I certainly understand. Did the order place any limits or restrictions on child care? Was she able to select a nanny or a child care facility? Do you know what average child care cost is and why she is paying this person so much more?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
hi, thanks. We have had this order for 2 years and I have been paying the cost the entire time but we have another court date coming up and I would like to know if there are any exceptions to the mandatory add on. We have 50/50 custody time with the 3 children. I generate no daycare costs. She has chosen to pay a nanny around $1600 per month for only 2 days of care per week. During this care time she is usually working from home. Additionally, I would be available to watch the children during the paid care time.

Thank you and please allow me a moment to respond

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Child care from a different nanny or from a daycare would cost significantly less, likely in the 800/month range. I believe she is paying the nanny so much because it is spiteful to me, and because the nanny does house cleaning and meal prep that is not related to childcare but for which I then pay half the cost.

In a situation like this, a party could first ask the Judge to order a right of first refusal, regarding child care. By that, I mean if you are able to watch the children while she needs to work, you can ask the Judge to order that she offer and give you a chance to do so, before hiring and using a nanny and paying for this. If you are able to do so and it can be done without interfering with her work, you can ask to watch the kids, if you can show that you can consistently do this. It could not be a week by week or month to month thing, since she could not be left at the last minute looking for child care but as long as you could do this all the time, the Judge could consider it. The other option which a party has, is to show and convince the Judge that the cost of the child care is NOT reasonable. That there are alternative and comparable child care options available and that the costs which you are having to incur, are not affordable and are creating a hardship.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you. I work night shifts on the days that she has a nanny. This means that for at least part of the day, I am sleeping while the children would need to be watched. My girlfriend and I live together and she is willing to watch the children for the time that I sleep. Do you think this would be reasonable to the judge? Also, can you think of any other way that I could convince the court to have both the mother and I each be fully responsible for our own childcare costs?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
She also appears to be paying the nanny under the table. Is this something to bring up?

You are welcome. It could be presented but the Judge may have issue with having to rely on your girlfriend, instead of you being solely responsible. She would likely need to appear and testify and share with the Judge and show she is committed to watching them every single time. As far as cost, you could try and get the Judge to impose a limit, at this time, which you need to contribute, forcing the mother to pay anything above what is reasonable, if she feels the need. You also can ask for receipts to show payment, if you desire. Please let me know if there is anything else, as I would be happy to respond. If not, please remember to rate my help at this time at the top of this page, prior to leaving, so I can receive the proper credit, for our time together. A 5 STAR rating is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
This is my first time using this site so I'm not sure how many questions I get. Your answers have already earned you a 5 star...thank you. ***** am unable to get a limit or otherwise get the care moved to my responsibility, would it be acceptable to pay my girlfriend for time when she watches my children for work related activities on my custody days? When I have work she watches them but I don't pay her anything now. If I pay my girlfriend, would that be acceptable to share that cost with the mother?

You are welcome and I kindly just ask when we are done, that you remember to rate my help at the top, so the site provides me with the proper credit. Yes, if you have to incur the cost of child care as well, you can ask that the mother share in it. If your girlfriend is taking away and/or giving up her ability to work, to watch the children, you could try and argue that it is more affordable to pay her to watch the children, instead of hiring someone else, so the mother needs to contribute and share in the cost. You could try and present that argument or simply ask and make sure the Judge orders that the mother share in the cost of child care and if you decide to pay your girlfriend, assess her the amount which she is required to pay and if she has an issue with this, let her take you back to court, unless of course there are limits and restrictions, on who can actually watch the children.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
The nanny is paid by the mother under the table. Is this a factor the judge would take into consideration?

You could address it but it is not really relevant here, as it is up to the mother and the nanny, to disclose this and for the nanny to pay taxes on the money earned.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
That makes sense. I am in an odd situation. My attorney I've had for this entire 2.5 year battle just died randomly. I have a court date in 1 month and I have found an attorney that will attend with me on the court date for a flat fee but I who will not be doing any of the prep considering the short time frame. In order to bring up the costs she is paying the nanny, how do I get the mother to show or tell the court how much she is paying the nanny per hour? I know how much I have been paying so I can provide that but do I need to request receipts or information somehow before the court date or will the judge just ask the mother those questions during the trial?

This is something which you or the Judge could address and have her testify to and support with proof. She may need to start providing you with receipts, showing what was paid. The Judge could ask the mother or your attorney could question her as well. This is not something that she can keep hidden and is relevant, so it will be inquired about. As far as the issue with your attorney, if the attorney is not going to prepare and be ready for this, I am not sure they are acting in your best interest. The attorney should be ready for this hearing, so you may want to speak with other counsel, if you do not feel this attorney can represent your best interest.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for the advice regarding the attorney. It is a strange situation because all of my files are locked in the deceased attorney's office. He was a solo practice and the CA state bar has some rules about releasing anything until they verify death and send out some sort of manager to release the files. So, the attorneys I've contacted will need more money than I can afford to get up to speed on all the issues. I feel that I know all the issues but I need a litigator present to do all the procedural items such as questioning and such. I am trying to figure out anything I need to prepare to bring to court to be ready. It is a mess. From our conversation I now realize I should bring quotes for childcare that show she is paying a ridiculous amount. Are there any other items you can think of that I should have on hand to help make my case related to childcare costs? I recognize that is a broad question but I appreciate any advice on this.
Your attorney wants to focus on the issue at hand, which is the high and what you feel is the unnessaey cost of child care at this time. You want to show the judge you can not afford it, as it is unreasonable and that there are more affordable child care options in the area. If you can present other quotes and estimates the mother may be required to explain and support the need for this specific nanny.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
thank you for your help. I absolutely will give you 5 stars. Is there a way to contact you again on this site or is it just luck of the draw? What hours are you on so that I can get you again next time I have questions?

Yes, you can come back to this page and I will be happy to respond. I am on every day, so once you respond, I will be alert. Thank you again.

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