PLM Family Law

  1. Home
  2.  → 
  3. Child Custody
  4.  → Can you get child support with shared or joint custody?

Can you get child support with shared or joint custody?

When parents separate or divorce, figuring out child support can be a big concern. If you are counting on financial help to raise your child, what happens when both parents share custody (residential responsibility)? Can you still get child support?

For answers, it helps to understand some basics about custody and support agreements.

Shared custody arrangements

“Shared custody” or “joint custody” can mean different things in different states, so make sure you talk to your attorney and have a clear understanding of what it means for you.  But, generally, it means both parents are responsible for making important decisions about their child’s life. This includes decisions about education, healthcare, and other major aspects. Additionally, in shared custody arrangements, the child spends significant time living with each parent.  “Shared” doesn’t necessarily mean equal.

Calculating child support

In shared custody situations, child support may still be an option. However, the amount may be different compared to cases where one parent has primary or sole custody. Child support is typically based on several factors, including each parent’s income, the child’s needs, and the amount of time the child spends in each home.

Child support is for the child

The goal of child support is to ensure the needs of your child are met, regardless of the custody arrangement. Both parents should contribute funds to support their child’s upbringing. Child support arrangements aim to be reasonable and follow the applicable state guidelines, taking into consideration the financial circumstances of the parents and the needs of the child.

Because financial stability plays a role in your child’s well-being, support is still an important consideration, even if you only have custody part of the time.