I live in the United States. A woman asked my wife to provide daycare for her children. The woman is going through a divorce and isn't on speaking terms with her husband. The husband, who has moved out of state, has been ordered by the court to pay 70% of the daycare expenses. The husband is okay with paying my wife for daycare and plans on paying his share to her directly. He's also okay with his wife's family members caring for the children, but not for pay. (He doesn't like them and refuses to agree to pay them anything.)

Is my wife within her rights to pay the children's grandmother to help out with some of the daycare? My wife would be paid by the children's parents and then she would forward a portion to the grandmother in exchange for her help. Would it make a difference if the children's mother paid her portion directly to the grandmother instead of having it forwarded via my wife? What sort of legal risk would my wife and I be exposing ourselves to?

  • I'm not very satisfied with my question's title, but I'm not sure how to summarize the situation in just one sentence. Please speak up if you have any suggestions for improving it. – mrog Feb 11 '19 at 18:58
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    In the second example, you could be committing fraud/ helping the ex-wife (x-w) commit fraud. Just for example, if you tell the ex-husband (x-h) the charge is $1000 every 2 weeks, and he gives you $700, but the x-w gives her mom $300, then really you are charging only $700 and therefore you are lying to the x-h. The first idea of you hiring the grandma might not be fraud, but you could run into issues of licensing of your daycare. It might also be a breech depending on how specific your agreement is with the dad- what exactly are your promising him in exchange for the cash? – Damila Feb 11 '19 at 19:24
  • @Damila If paying the grandmother is a valid expense, then it isn't fraud to include it in the cost. Also, it's spelled "breach". – Acccumulation Feb 11 '19 at 22:47
  • Are your wife and the children's grandmother qualified day-care providers under local law? – Dale M Feb 12 '19 at 0:08
  • @Acccumulation I meant having the ex-wife, the divirced mom pay her mom directly. In that case, the ex-wife has 2 arrangements- one with the OP’s wife for 700 and one with the ex-wife’s mom. But maybe you are right, if they tell the ex-hub that the care costs are 1000 and his share goes to OP’s wife. (Maybe we should say OP for the daycare provider for simplicity.) And thank yiu – Damila Feb 12 '19 at 5:10

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