Child support is an important part of the puzzle for any parent going through a divorce. Child support becomes even more complex when parents have 50/50 custody.
Many parents make the mistake of assuming that if parents share custody, neither parent pays support. However, even in cases of joint custody, one parent may pay support.
Here’s what you need to know about whether you can still request child support with shared custody from our Texas child support attorney.
Sharing 50/50 Custody and Child Support
Yes, you can still request child support if you share 50/50 custody. In cases where parents have a disparity in income, the court may order child support. Where one parent makes more than the other, the court may believe it’s not fair to the children to rely on the lower-earning parent’s income alone while in their care.
In most cases of joint custody, the court calculates child support as if each parent has primary custody. They determine what each parent would pay if they were the paying parent.
Then, the court offsets the lower amount against the higher. For example, if the first parent would pay $1,000 and the second parent would pay $600, the court offsets and orders the higher-earning parent to pay the difference or $400. Each case depends on the incomes of the paying parents.
Texas Child Support in Joint Custody Cases
Child support in Texas joint custody cases doesn’t follow a mandate. Offsetting child support payments in joint custody cases aren’t based on any legal mandate. It’s the standard custom of the courts.
The courts are free to determine child support equitably in joint custody cases based on individual circumstances and the needs of the children. Ordering the higher-earning parent to pay the difference is the most common procedure, but the court may do whatever they think is necessary and fair.
Physical Custody of a Child
When 50/50 custody impacts child support, it’s physical custody that makes the difference as opposed to legal custody. Physical custody is the parent who provides direct care for the child.
The parent providing care is the parent that is presumed to spend funds for the needs of the child. If parents have 50/50 legal custody, it doesn’t impact the calculation of child support.
Do you have questions about child support? Are you trying to navigate child support in a case of 50/50 custody? The child support attorney team at the Benouis Law Group can help. Our child support attorneys are passionate about helping parents advocate for their rights and for their children.
Contact our family law attorney team today to talk about your child support case.