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Having children is a wonderful experience. But there is no doubt that for working parents, having children can pose some complications, such as who will watch the children when the parents are at work.

For parents with school-aged children, this problem is often remedied naturally; children are in school, and therefore an addition caregiver is not necessary. But when schools go on breaks, for example, during the summertime or winter holiday, parents are often faced with once again investing in childcare. If parents are divorced, who is to pay for this childcare can prove contentious. Here’s what you should know:

Turn to Any Court Orders First

The first thing that you should consider when determining who is to pay for childcare during school breaks is to refer to any court orders that have already been issued by an Illinois judge. Understanding that daycare costs are a reality that many parents face, an Illinois court will often factor these costs in when issuing a child support award. In some cases, the court will allocate daycare costs between the parents outside of the support award.

Your parenting plan–which you entered into at the time that your divorce was finalized–may also contain information about childcare costs and services over school breaks. For example, perhaps your spouse is responsible for care of the child during one-month of the summer, and you are responsible for care during the winter holiday.

Get a New Court Order or Modify a Court Order

If you do not have an existing court order that addresses childcare costs or you do have an existing court order (i.e. an existing child support order) but you do not believe that the order is fair when reflecting on the circumstances, you can petition the court. For the latter, you will need to file a motion to modify a child support order. In order for such a motion to be granted, you will have to prove that a significant change in circumstances has occurred that warrants the modification. For example, perhaps at the time the judgment was issued, you were a stay-at-home parent, and therefore childcare expenses were irrelevant. Since that time, however, you have begun a full-time position, and therefore need to invest in childcare during any and all school breaks.

Our Illinois Divorce Lawyers Can Help

At the office of Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C., we understand that you may have a lot of questions about childcare expenses when you and your child’s other parent are divorced, as well as questions about how these expenses should be split and how to get your ex to contribute to such costs. Our Illinois family law lawyers have years of experience guiding clients through the court system and achieving favorable outcomes, and are ready to assist you with your case today. We serve clients in Naperville, Lombard, Lisle, Aurora, Downers Grove, and Wheaton, and can be reached online or phone today for a consultation.