We are often asked “If we share custody 50/50 I have to pay child support?” This is a valid question, especially when one considers the fact that it is quite common in a divorce for parents to share custody and parenting time quite evenly. Our Family Courts generally prefer this type of arrangement whenever possible.
It is also important to note that California law establishes it is in a child’s best interest to spend equal amounts of quality time with each parent.
The question of child support is simply a different matter altogether. The answer to the question “If we share custody 50/50 will I have to pay child support?” assumes a bit of a false premise. Child support is somewhat associated with parenting time, but this is not an exclusive balance.
The purpose of child support is to provide for the needs of a child including but not limited to food, clothing, shelter, education and healthcare. Each parent has a responsibility for the financial support of their child in California.
Child support calculations in California are based upon the financial costs associated with meeting the needs of a child.
The Court will also consider the lifestyle the child enjoyed during the marriage as well as the financial viability of each parent after the divorce.
The guideline child support calculation established by the State of California must be followed and the Court will begin with this calculation. The court is open to agreements between the parties as well as settlements reached in mediation.
“If we share custody 50/50 will I have to pay child support?” If you and your former spouse have roughly equal income you probably won’t have to pay child support. However, if there is a differential in the incomes of each parent the Court will follow the guideline calculator and legal precedent to determine the amount of child support required in your case.