Why Do I Have To Pay Child Support If I Share 50/50 Custody?

When a couple who has children divorces and agrees to share custody 50/50, it often sounds as if no child support payments will be necessary. However, this is a misconception. In fact, most divorces involving 50/50 custody do have child support payments being made. To learn why, here are several factors involved, along with why a child custody lawyer can assist you during this process. The legal team at the Srai Law Office knows that family law issues can take a big toll on your life and the lives of your loved ones. 

Parental Income Differences
In most situations where parents share 50/50 custody of their children, child support payments are ordered when there is a significant gap involving the incomes of both parents. For example, if a couple divorces and one of the parents worked part-time or was a stay-at-home parent with the kids, the court would likely order the parent whose income was highest to pay child support.

Factors Determining Child Support Payments
When a court determines child support payments will need to be made even with a 50/50 custody arrangement, many factors are considered by the judge. These can include:
–Incomes and earning potential of each parent
–Each parent’s assets, liabilities, and debts
–Number of children requiring support
–Health insurance costs
–Medical, education, and other costs related to the children
In most cases, if the court feels an unfair financial burden would be placed on one parent in caring for their children, child support payments will be ordered, even if custody is shared 50/50.

Can Payments Ever be Set at $0?
In some cases, it may be possible that after hearing evidence, the court will decide that no child support payments will need to be made. However, this is the exception, not the rule. In cases where this has been done, it is usually due to both parents having substantial sources of income, and reaching an agreement among themselves that child support payments will not be necessary. Yet even in these cases, since the court will always seek to do what is best for the children, the finances of both parents will be carefully reviewed before allowing no payments to be made.

If you find yourself sharing 50/50 custody of your children, always hire a skilled child custody lawyer to help negotiate any child support payments you will be required to make to your ex-spouse. While you certainly want to do what’s best for your children, it’s also important to ensure your legal rights are protected along the way.