Going through a divorce is stressful, and when you have children, your two biggest concerns are likely how the divorce will affect them and how the divorce will affect your finances. Childcare is one of the largest expenses families with kids in Rhode Island face. The average cost for infant care in Rhode Island is more than $13,000 a year. Childcare for an infant and a four-year-old averages more than $24,000 a year. Families in Rhode Island spend about 20% of their income on childcare. They can easily end up spending more than their mortgage payment for quality care. So, when you're going through a divorce, determining how much each of you will pay for childcare is a common concern.
Determining Child Support
In Rhode Island, the court normally determines child support according to the Rhode Island Family Court Support Guidelines. The state intends the guidelines to be the minimum amount of support necessary, although a parent can petition for more, and the court can award more. The court will consider work-related childcare costs in determining the amount each parent should contribute. To determine the amount of child support, the court considers each parent's gross income and any allowable deductions. Allowable deductions include things like health insurance obligations and childcare costs.
Determining Childcare Contributions
Typically, the court will take the percentage of the parents' combined income that the noncustodial parent makes and apply that to the percentage of daycare costs that the noncustodial parent should pay. For example, assume that you are the custodial parent and make $50,000, your co-parent makes $100,000, and your combined income is $150,000. If childcare costs you $2,000 a month, you will contribute about $667, and your co-parent would contribute about $1,333 toward the cost of daycare.
The noncustodial parent will also be able to deduct their childcare payments from their gross income. Moreover, if the noncustodial parent uses the childcare credit on federal taxes, the court won't use the full amount of childcare in support calculations. Typically, the court will allow 75 to 80% of childcare costs in their calculation to account for the federal tax credit.
If you are contemplating a divorce, contact Inman & Tourgee online or call (401) 823-9200. We can discuss your options for separation and divorce, including your options for child support and custody.