Among the many concerns divorcing parents typically have, the costs of raising a child are of particular importance. These costs can range from living expenses to child-care and may or may not be shared by both parents.

Certain costs, such as food and clothing, can be covered by child support. The courts allow that child-care costs, if incurred because of a parent’s employment, may also be covered under a child support order. Massachusetts child-support guidelines also provide that child-care costs may be included in a child support order if the costs are incurred as a result of a parent improving their employability or earning capacity through educational efforts or employment training. In making provisions for the cost of child-care, the courts help parents with primary custody work or take other steps necessary to support themselves.

The parent covering the child-care costs through child support may deduct the amount from their income when calculating income for child support purposes. Keep in mind; the courts may deviate from the standard child support calculation if the amount reflecting the child-care costs is disproportionate to the paying spouse’s income. In other words, child-care costs may not be ordered in every case or may not be ordered in full. Consider divorce mediation if you have concerns about dividing child-care costs with your spouse. It is important to address these concerns in your separation agreement to avoid unnecessary conflict down the road.

Massachusetts law recognizes that sharing the parenting responsibilities for your child includes sharing the costs of childcare if needed. The cost of child-care can be prohibitively high but may be necessary in order for the spouse with primary custody to become self-supporting through work, education, or training. If you have concerns about your options for financial support, consult with a skilled divorce mediator who has experience handling complex financial support issues. Mediation is an efficient way to work out an agreement with your spouse regarding the costs of raising your child beyond basic child support and a good arena in which to have a frank discussion about what you can do to look out for your child’s well-being.

If you are dealing with complex child support issues, contact Mediation Advantage Services for expert family law help. Experienced in complex divorce mediation, Law Office of Polly Tatum can help you mediate your custody and child support issues, saving you time, money, and conflict. Based in historic Worcester, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester County including, Auburn, Paxton, Leicester, Sutton, Grafton, Shrewsbury, Westboro, Northboro, Southboro, Holden, Sterling, Princeton, Worcester, Charlton, Millbury, Dudley, Spencer, Brookfield, Sudbury, Natick, Framingham, Hopkinton, Milford, Blackstone, Leominster, Fitchburg, Acton, Jefferson, Barre, Oakham, Cambridge, Newton, Marlboro, Lancaster, Bolton, and Hudson. Call our office at (508) 466-4734, fill out our online form, or email us at today to schedule your Complimentary Mediation Success Planning Session. You can also sign up for our eNewsletter or download our free guide for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.