Yes, in certain situations.
The court will take the following factors into account:
- whether the cost of the nanny is “reasonable,”
- whether the nanny is only used during times the custodial parent is working (or commuting to and from work),
- that the proposed nanny care is not otherwise reimbursed or subsidized, and,
- that the costs do not exceed the level required to provide quality care from a licensed source.
These are not things that the custodial parent needs to prove, but what a judge will consider. However, it is a good idea to keep a record of the exact hours you expend working and the hours the nanny is taking care of your child, and to call around to different day cares/camps to find out what the cost of other daycare is in your area.
By calling around, you may also find support for your opinion that your child should have a nanny. For example, a custodial parent wanted her ex-spouse to contribute towards a nanny over summer vacation. The ex-spouse countered that a city-run camp was several hundred dollars less than the cost of the nanny. The custodial parent called the city and found out that there was a waiting list to go to the camp. The judge decided that it was thus “reasonable” to pay a nanny for the summer, even though the costs exceeded “quality care from a licensed source.” (Hamilton v. Harris, No. FA030634209S, 2010).
In another matter, the custodial parent was able to show the court that less expensive child care in her area required children to be picked up by 5:30, which she, as an on-call doctor, could not commit to doing every day. In that situation, the court found the employment of a nanny to be reasonable and ordered the other parent to pay ½ of the nanny costs while she was working, including commuting time. (Weissman v. Fissell, 2007 Ct. Sup. 8160 (Conn. Super. Ct. 2007))
And, of course, be sure to follow all regulations applicable to an employer, such as tax withholding and provision of health insurance!