How Does Child Support Work in Cases of Joint Custody? 

Many people assume that a 50/50 split of custody means that parents don’t have to pay child support, but this isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, in New York, child support is still required even when joint custody is granted to the two parents. 

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How Does Child Support Work?

In most cases, the court uses a formula to determine how much child support is owed. The formula takes into account the income of each parent and their share of expenses. 

If there are significant differences in the income of parents, courts may consider focusing on the lower-earning parent when determining child support amounts. This is because parents who earn less than the other parent do not have as much discretionary income to put toward their children’s needs. 

The non-custodial parent pays child support to the custodial parent, to help cover expenses such as medical care and education. In addition, child support may also cover costs for extracurricular activities, health insurance premiums and other expenses related to raising the children. 

When joint custody is granted, both parents must make an agreement for how they will share these expenses. If the parents can’t agree, they may need to go to court to settle these issues. 

A child support order can be modified if circumstances change. This is often necessary if the parent loses their job, has a medical crisis or a family emergency occurs. 

Most child support orders are issued based on a formula that includes the incomes of both parents, their expenses and other factors. However, if the parents are able to negotiate their own agreements, then that may reduce the amount of child support they must pay. 

There are a number of options for seeking a modification of a child support order, including filing an amendment with the court or working directly with your ex-partner to reach an agreement on their own. It’s a good idea to seek the advice of an experienced lawyer who can assist you in making a reasonable, fair modification. 

The child support guidelines have a number of tables that calculate the support amount based on the combined income of both parents and their parenting time with their children. These tables have a shading system for different income levels and will adjust the formula as the parent’s income falls into that shaded area. 

In some cases, a parent who makes significantly more money than the other parent can obtain a higher support amount through negotiations with the other parent or with the court. This is especially common in cases of joint custody when one parent has a high income and the other has a low income. 

A child support agreement should be negotiated and signed by both parents as soon as possible after the divorce is finalized. This is the best way to ensure that child support payments are accurate and that there is no misunderstanding about what is owed. 

If you need a child support lawyer to help you get the most accurate and fair child support amount possible, contact The Law Office of Sharon K. Covino today to schedule a consultation.