Child Custody and Support

Setting Guidelines for Child Support

What happens when the parents share custody?

The effect of joint custody will depend on the nature of the joint custody arrangement. If the parents have joint legal custody (by which they share making major decisions regarding the child), that by itself will have little effect on child support. One parent still has primary custody of the child and handles payment of most of the child’s day-to-day expenses. The custodial parent’s expenses for the child have not been reduced by the joint custody arrangement.

If the parents have joint physical custody with the child spending a substantial amount of time with each of parent, and if the parents have approximately equal incomes, it is possible neither parent will have to pay support to the other. The father and mother will pay the child’s day-to-day expenses when the child is in the respective homes. The parents, however, will need to coordinate payments on major expenses such as camp, school, clothing, and insurance.

If there is a significant difference in the parents’ incomes, the parent with higher income probably will make payments to the other parent or pay more of the child’s expenses, but the amount paid probably will be less than the guideline amount because of the joint physical custody arrangement.

>>How are child support guidelines set?
>>What is considered income?
>>Can a parent be forced to pay child support?
>>What happens when the parents share custody?
>>Must the noncustodial parent pay support if the child is with him or her for summer vacation?
>>Who pays for college expenses?


Practical Law Home | Child Custody & Support Home | Deciding Factors in Awarding Child Custody
Issues Surrounding Visitation | *Setting Guidelines for Child Support*
Adjusting Child Custody Arrangements or the Amount of Child Support

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