After a separation, a spouse remains responsible to support the members of his or her family with support payments to the best of his or her ability. Support payments are necessary because of the financial dependence of children and spouses on the breadwinners in the family. Child support is calculated first. Entitlement to spousal support is then considered. If entitlement to spousal support is established, the amount and duration is then determined.
Will I have to pay child support if I have shared custody?
The only time you probably won’t have to pay child support is when the children reside equally in each parent’s home and both parents earn the same annual income.
If children reside with the parent who pays child support more than 40% of the time (shared custody), the child support amount payable begins with a set off. Sometimes the set off amount is further adjusted but there is no guarantee that support will be adjusted. This will depend on the facts and circumstances involved in your case.
How is the amount of time spent with each parent calculated?
In calculating the amount of time the children spend with each parent, the focus is typically on scheduled overnight time. For example, 3 overnights per week or more can trigger a review of whether the table amount of child support is appropriate.
Even where the children spend equal time with both parents, the higher income-earning parent will still have to pay child support. Typically the amount is calculated as follows: Mom and Dad have one child. If the child lived full time with Mom, Dad would have to pay $1,000.00 per month. If the child lived full time with Dad, Mom would have to pay $1,200.00 per month. In this case t0he child splits his time equally between Mom and Dad’s home, so Mom pays Dad $200.00 per month. Remember, the calculation does not end here. Other factors may mean that an adjustment must be made to the set off amount.
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