651-264-3110  9:00 am - 5:00 pm m-f

Advocacy for Families|creative solutions|REASONABLE FEES

Advocacy for Families

Divorce, Custody, Parenting Time, Support

Experienced Child Protection Defense

Begin Your Transformation Today

Our Blog

An ongoing series of informational entries

What "50/50" Custody Means... and Doesn't Mean

December 27, 2016

Custody battles often center around parenting time; and just as often revolve around child support.  Here are a couple important distinctions:

Custody is not the same as parenting time.

Custody can be legal or physical, sole or joint. And it has no impact on a parent’s obligation to support his or her child - the child has a legal right to support whether the parent has custody or not.

Legal custody is the right to make major decisions, such as education, religion, etc. Physical custody is the actual physical presence of the child - but joint physical custody does not necessarily mean equal time.

Parenting time is how much of the child’s week or year is spent with each parent.  It does affect child support calculations.  Generally, the more parenting time, the lower the support obligation (the "parenting expense adjustment"), but there are other factors.

Income is the biggest factor in calculating child support.

Basic child support is calculated based on how much each parent has available to contribute to the support of the child, as well as parenting time. If both parents make the same amount of money and have equal parenting time, with no other adjustments, there will likely be little to no child support.  However, if one parent makes significantly more money, even if parenting time is equal, the higher earning parent will likely owe child support.

Other factors like healthcare insurance and childcare expenses also affect child support calculations.  Make an appointment to discuss your unique situation and potential solutions.

Parenting time child support calculations are changing in 2018... watch for more information soon.