University of Wisconsin–Madison
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Child Support Orders and Childcare Costs

For working parents of young children, childcare expenditures can be a substantial proportion of their budgets. Childcare expenses could be especially problematic for single-parent families.  The possibility exists for this cost to be addressed by family courts; when the court orders child support, it may designate which parent is responsible for paying for childcare, and, in fact under Wisconsin’s percentage-of  -income standard, courts should assign these costs when there is shared placement. The court could also explicitly adjust the child support order to account for childcare costs. Yet, even though childcare expenses could be quite important, especially for low-income families, we know very little about how often childcare costs are considered or assigned by the courts. This analysis begins to fill this gap.


Child Support, Child Support Policy Research, Early Childhood Care & Education, Education & Training, Orders & Payments


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