The term “joint custody” can be somewhat misleading, especially where issues of child support are involved. Parents can share joint physical custody of their children without splitting this time evenly. And in New York, one of the parents will usually pay the other parent child support, even in cases where joint physical custody is split 50-50. Here, the New York family law attorneys of The Mandel Law Firm will explain the nuances of joint custody and its impact on child support payments.
Do You Still Have to Pay Child Support If You Share Parenting Time?
Depending on the circumstances of your agreement, you may be required to pay child support even if you share custody of your child. The State of New York generally requires that one parent pay child support to the other parent, even in instances where the parents share physical custody on a completely equitable basis. To that end, courts will consider a number of factors when they determine which parent will pay child support to the other, and how much they will pay.
How Is Child Support Determined in Joint Custody Agreements?
In determining who pays child support and how much they must pay each month, the court will typically consider the following factors:
In general, the parent who earns more money is the parent who must pay child support. There are certain very particular exceptions to this rule, which an experienced family attorney in New York can explain to you further. If the two parents decide between themselves that no child support will be paid to either of them, it’s possible that the court may sign off on the agreement if it does not jeopardize the best interests of the child.
For the purposes of determining child support, the parent who makes more money is considered the non-custodial parent, even in instances of completely equitable joint custody. The Child Supports Standards Act establishes a formula by which the State of New York determines how much a non-custodial parent will pay to the custodial parent per child. You can read more about this formula on the state’s website.
The court may also take parenting time into account when determining child support. The court will consider which parent the child spends more time with (the custodial parent), and will order the non-custodial parent to pay base child support to the custodial parent. Additionally, both parents will divide the following expenses, usually based on their percentage of income:
- Educational expenses
- Health insurance costs
- Medical care expenses
- Extracurricular activities
- Summer camp enrollment
- Childcare costs
- College expenses, in some cases (New York requires non-custodial parents to pay child support until the child reaches 21 years of age).
Determining child support is a complex legal process that you shouldn’t attempt to navigate on your own. An experienced family law attorney can guide you through these issues as well as advocate for your rights and interests better than you could on your own.
Contact A New York Family Law Attorney
If you have questions about paying child support, how child support is calculated in joint custody agreements, or need help resolving a child custody dispute, then contact the dedicated New York child support attorneys at Mandel Law Firm today. We have the knowledge and experience to provide you with sound legal counsel and to help you resolve disputes. We will always keep the best interests of your child top of mind. Contact us today for an initial consultation.