Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mother Must Prove She Actually Incurred Daycare and Medicalcare Expenses

A new case from Division three, Fairchild v. Davis, Docket # 26818-6, ruled on the type of evidence necessary to prove that a parent actually incurred daycare and medical care expenses.

The child support statute provides that, where the transfer payment includes daycare and medical care costs, and those costs were not actually incurred, the person making the transfer payment is entitled to reimbursement if he has overpaid by at least twenty percent in a given year. RCW 26.19.080(3).

The statute doesn’t address what level of proof is required to establish that the expenses were actually incurred. This case addresses that issue.

Here, the mother, who was receiving support, submitted a declaration from herself, a statement of health insurance premiums, and a statement for orthodontia.

The commissioner concluded that the declaration was self-serving, and that the other “proof” was insufficient to establish that she actually incurred the expenses.

On revision, the court concluded that this level of proof was sufficient, because the mother was not required to keep detailed records of expenses over the years, reversing the commissioner.

The court of appeals reversed in turn, holding that more proof was required. In terms of daycare, the court held that “cancelled checks, prior tax returns, or declarations from childcare providers would have been more helpful.” In terms of medical expenses, details on co-payments, other medical expenses, and expenses actually incurred would have been more helpful.

No comments: