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Child Care Expense Variance (IOWA) Recent Changes to the Iowa Child Support Guidelines

By May 31, 2022 Posted in Child Custody

Raising children is expensive, and if you are a working single parent of a young child, a large part of that expense is childcare. The average annual cost for an infant in a child care center was $10,131 in 2019, and it seems safe to assume it’s only gone up since then. Thankfully, the Iowa legal system has recognized the need for both parents to contribute to the cost of childcare and has made changes to the child support guidelines to reflect this need. At Simpson Legal Group, LLC, our attorneys are well-versed in the way the child support guidelines operate and can help you with any child support issues you may have.

There is a presumption that the amount of child support calculated pursuant to the guidelines in IOWA is the correct amount that should be awarded. However, this presumption is rebuttable, and the amount calculated may be adjusted up or down when the circumstances warrant the change. 

Rule 9.11A of the IOWA Child Support Guidelines states that “because the cost of child care is not included in the economic data used to establish the support amounts in the Schedule of Basic Support Obligations, the custodial parent’s child care expenses constitute grounds for requesting an upward variance from the amount of child support that would result from the application of the guidelines.” Anytime the court determines that a variance is warranted, it must be in writing, and the variance for child support should be “liberally granted.” 

Things to Know

There are other things you should know if you pay or receive child support in Iowa, including:

  • There is a rebuttable presumption that there will be no variance for child care expenses for a child that has reached 13 years of age.
  • The amount of child care expense variance allowed should not be more than the noncustodial parent’s proportional share of income.
  • Unless there are compelling circumstances, the child care expense variance should not extend beyond the time when there are no longer any children under the age of 13 who are subject to the support order.
  • When a child care expense variance ends according to the terms of the support order, support will automatically adjust to the amount of the basic support obligation without a child care expense variance.
  • Child care expenses, under the Iowa Child Support Guidelines, are defined as being actual, annualized child care expenses the custodial parent pays for the child(ren) in the pending matter that is reasonably necessary to enable the parent to be employed, attend education or training activities, or conduct a job search, less any third party reimbursement and any anticipated child care tax credits.

Speak With a Child Support Attorney at Simpson Legal Group, LLC

Whether you are a parent seeking child support, or a parent with concerns regarding your order to pay child support, we can help. Contact the legal professionals at Simpson Legal Group, LLC to find out your options under the law. You can contact us by calling 712-256-9899 or via our contact page.

Contact Us

50 Northcrest Drive, Council Bluffs, Iowa 51503
Phone: 712.256.9899

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