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Do parents who share joint equal custody pay child support?

Do parents who share joint equal physical custody of their children pay child support?

If my spouse and I were to agree to share joint equal physical custody (50-50) of our child or children, would one of us still end up being ordered to pay child support to the other? If so, why? And how?

This is a good question and a question that many parents ask.

Some believe that if child custody is equally awarded to/shared between the parents, so that the children spend as many overnights with one parent as they do with the other, that neither parent pays the other child support. This is not true.

In a nutshell, whether a joint equal physical custody parent pays child support is not determined solely by the number of overnights the children have with that parent but by each parent’s income.

In a nutshell, the amount of child support a parent who shares joint equal physical custody of their children is not determined solely by the number of overnights the children have with that parent but by a combination of overnights with each parent and analysis of each parent’s income.

Generally speaking, unless the parents agree to a different arrangement and the court approves that arrangement, if one of the two joint equal custodial parents earns more than the other, that parent will end up paying some child support.

Every state in U.S. has child support calculation guidelines and formulae to determine which parent pays child support and how much child support that parent will pay.

Legislation, regulations, and caselaw governing child support policy and calculation change, so be sure you know both A) what your jurisdiction’s current child support guidelines are and B) how to use apply them correctly and accurately when calculating child support.

This July 10, 2020 article from the National Conference of State Legislatures [click the link to access the article] provides a list of links to the child support calculation guidelines for every state and Washington D.C. in the U.S., as well as the Guan and Virgin Islands territories.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

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