Do I have to continue to pay after school day care if my kids are old enough to stay by themselves after school?

UPDATED: Feb 24, 2011

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Do I have to continue to pay after school day care if my kids are old enough to stay by themselves after school?

My children, ages 11 and 12, come home to a sitter every day after school for about 2 hours until their mom gets home from work. They live a block away from school. They have both stated that they are more than comfortable being home alone for a couple of hours, but their mom refuses. I am paying for half of this sitter and don’t think I should have to continue to pay because she refuses to let them come home. Do I have any recourse, other than mediation or back to court (I can’t afford either).

Asked on February 24, 2011 under Family Law, Illinois


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Illinois law defines a neglected minor, in part, as "any minor under the age of 14 years whose parent or other person responsible for the minor's welfare leaves the minor without supervision for an unreasonable period of time without regard for the mental or physical health, safety or welfare of that minor."
So I am thinking that your ex wife may be erring on the side of caution and the side of the law here.  In addition, Illinois law lists 15 specific factors to be considered when deciding whether a child has been left alone for an unreasonable period of time.  They seem to take this isue very seriously in the Prarie State.

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