Many clients ask whether they will still be ordered to pay child support even though they have or intend to have shared parenting or equal parenting time with their children. The answer to this depends on many factors including income, and child related expenses incurred. Unfortunately, having shared parenting or equal parenting time does not necessarily mean there will be no child support obligation. However, it is worth noting that shared parenting and equal parenting time are different things that are often confused with each other.
Shared parenting is a term used to describe a specific status of custody arrangement where the parents share equally in the rights and responsibilities of the child or children. One can have a shared parenting plan and still not have equal, or 50/50 time with their children.
Furthermore, if an order of shared parenting is granted or agreed upon by the parties, there is still likely to be an order if child support imposed. The child support figure imposed will be dependent on things such as the income of the parties, out of pocket child care expenses, health insurance and other deductions. Once the court has determined a child support figure often referred to as “guideline child support” an individual can then make arguments that they should pay less or even no child support at all due to other factors such as extraordinary parenting time (such as 50/50).
Our office has experience securing shared parenting and equal parenting time for our clients and therefore have had success arguing for substantial deviations to the guideline child support amount.
If you have questions regarding how your child support is impacted by shared parenting or split custody arrangements please get in touch with one of our attorneys today!