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Do I Have to Pay Child Support If I Have Joint Custody?

If you’re going through a custody case with your ex-partner, you may be considering joint custody. Depending on your custody arrangement and the incomes of you and your partner, you may be required to pay child support — even in the event of a 50/50 custody split.

What Warrants Paying Child Support?

When the court awards joint custody, you may wonder if you still have to pay child support. The answer is yes and no. The amount of child support you are required to pay depends on several factors, including the income of both parents, how much time each parent spends with the children, and the cost of raising the children.

In general, the non-custodial parent pays child support to help defray some of the costs of raising the child. These expenses may include food, clothing, and shelter. Child support also covers expenses like medical care, transportation, and education.

When parents share joint custody, they must share these expenses. This means both parents contribute toward paying for expenses for their children. However, this doesn’t mean you won’t be required to pay child support — especially if you make more money than your child’s other parent or if your expenses are significantly lower.

Time Spent with Each Parent

If your child spends less than half of their time with you, you are responsible for paying child support. If the child spends more than half of their time with one parent, then that parent is generally not responsible for child support.

In a 50/50 custody split, child support calculations will analyze the income of each parent to determine who is responsible for paying child support and how much they will pay.

Parental Income

If you find yourself in a 50/50 joint custody agreement but you make more than your child’s other parent, you may be required to pay child support depending on your local jurisdiction.

In most states, child support is calculated based on the income and expenses of both parents. The court uses a formula to determine how much each parent should pay for child support based on their income-earning ability and other factors, such as work-related expenses and health insurance premiums.

If there’s a large discrepancy in income between parents, courts tend to emphasize the lower-earning parent when setting child support amounts.

Many people believe that a 50/50 split of custody means neither parent has to pay child support. This is not necessarily true.

In Michigan, courts will use the Michigan child support formula to determine which parent is responsible for paying child support in the event of joint custody. This formula takes each parent’s income into account, alongside the amount of time the child spends with each parent, to determine who will pay.

Find Help with Gucciardo Family Law

When you’re facing a child support case, you need an experienced attorney who understands the law and is committed to helping you reach the best possible outcome. Contact Gucciardo Family Law in Michigan and schedule a consultation to discuss your case with one of our expert attorneys.

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We focus exclusively on family law matters so we are always available to answer your questions and help.

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