While it makes sense that parents with joint custody wouldn’t have to make child support payments, there are situations where that’s not the case. Parents should read the following information and discuss it with a Child Support Lawyer in Hillsboro MO before making a decision.
Joint custody can refer to two concepts: physical and legal custody, which are discussed below.
• Legal custody allows parents to make decisions about a child’s life. When parents share legal custody, they both have the same decision-making rights on matters such as religion, education, and health. This type of joint custody has no bearing on child support.
• Physical custody refers to the child’s living situation. If either parent has physical custody, the other parent has reasonable or structured visitation rights. In joint physical custody, a schedule outlines when the child will see each parent. Joint custody is rarely 50/50, and it takes cooperation between parents to be successful.
Calculating Child Support
In child support, a parent makes a series of payments to provide financial support for his/her child. When a parent has full custody, the other parent typically has to pay child support, with the amount being based on a statutory formula. In cases of joint custody, the higher-income parent may have to pay support to the lower-income parent. Some family courts order support even when parents share custody.
Some jurisdictions consider both parents’ incomes, while others consider only the income of the paying parent. In some cases, child support is based on a portion of the payer’s gross income, multiplied by the number of children covered by the order.
Family courts also consider the custody type the parents have. In most cases, the more time a parent spends with his/her child, the less child support he/she will have to pay. For instance, some jurisdictions decrease the amount based on the number of nights the child stays with the parent.
While child support is every parent’s obligation, it can put a strain on the paying parent in some cases. Whether a parent pays or receives child support, he or she can count on a Child Support Lawyer in Hillsboro MO for legal advice and advocacy throughout the process. Contact Wegmann Law Firm to learn more about the state’s child support laws or to schedule a consultation.