Question – Do I have to pay day care cost if I am available to care for my child? My ex and I have a parenting plan and child support order that states I pay 50% of daycare costs. I am currently out of work due to L & I and unable to pay any cost above my child support. My daughter is in head start which is free, but her mother wants me to pay 50% of daycare costs. I am not working and therefore can provide care for my daughter if my ex cannot. I also have purchased many learning workbooks to help my daughter learn while in my care as well. How can I go about bringing this up to the court if she refuses this?

Answer – Both parents must obey the court order. In this question, the applicable court order is the Order of Child Support. It is divided into several paragraphs. One of the paragraphs concerns payments that are not part of the monthly transfer payment. Please read this section to know if you must pay day care, to whom, and how much. However, if you have not already asked, generally you may ask the court to change the order such that you provide care for the child to reduce the cost of day care. The court does not always grant this request as it is not always in the best interest of the child. When a parent becomes unemployed, this often is a reason to go back to court, not only to request the right of first refusal, but also to modifying the monthly amount of child support and the percentage contribution to day care expenses.