When determining child support, expenses called “mandatory add-ons” are taken into consideration by the judge. Child care and health care qualify as mandatory add-ons.
In general, California family law courts will order that each parent pay half of the child care expenses necessary for the custodial parent to be employed full time. However, there are occasional disputes over this issue.
For example, if someone hires a nanny and the nanny has duties other than child care, the non-custodial parent may argue against their payment amount. Another dispute could arise from having an unlicensed caretaker. California Family Law Code does not require that a child care provider be licensed, but a parent may feel strongly about this and want more input on the decision.
Although it’s usually the custodial parent who makes decisions on child care, it is helpful and appropriate for both parents to be a part of the decision making process.