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Do I Still Need To Pay Child Support If We Share Custody Equally?


Although it would perhaps be easier for divorced parents if each were responsible for exactly 50 percent of their child’s finances and no court order were required, this rarely happens. Instead, most child custody arrangements involve a more complicated division of time and responsibilities. However, couples who are able to reach such an agreement, dividing custody 50/50 are often left wondering whether either will need to pay child support. Frustratingly, the answer is usually “it depends.” The circumstances of your specific case will largely dictate your child support award. However, to help, we’ve included a bit more information on what courts assess when deciding what to award in child support.

The Parents’ Incomes

Parents who agree to equal time-sharing often expect that neither will need to pay child support, but will only be required to cover the child’s finances when that child is in his or her custody. This is not, however, exactly how it works in Florida, where child support is calculated based not only on how much time the children spend with each parent, but also on other factors, such as the parents’ incomes. Unless both parents make essentially the same amount of money every year, then the parent who earns more will typically be ordered to make some sort of child support payment every month.

Other Factors that Could Affect Your Award

Under Florida law, parents are legally obligated to financially support their children. How much they must pay in the event of separation or divorce to support that child depends on how much time the child spends with each parent and both parties’ incomes. However, courts are also allowed to take a few other factors into consideration when determining whether child support is necessary, including:

  • Each party’s monthly expenses;
  • Childcare and healthcare costs;
  • Daycare expenses;
  • The child’s needs;
  • Insurance;
  • Tax deductions; and
  • The parties’ standard of living.

Who covers these costs will affect the outcome of a court’s ruling regarding child support. If, for instance, a higher earning spouse pays for the child’s insurance, daycare expenses, and tuition in addition to other day-to-day costs and the parents share custody 50/50, then a judge could decide that child support isn’t necessary. In this situation, neither party could end up being required to make official child support payments. If, however, the division of these costs is more equal, the higher earning spouse will probably still end up paying some sort of financial support to the other parent. To learn more about how these factors could affect your own child support award, reach out to our legal team today.

Hiring a Florida Child Support Lawyer

If you have agreed to share custody of your child with a former partner and have questions about how that could influence an obligation to pay child support, contact experienced Florida child support attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. today. You can set up a free consultation by calling 954-945-7591 or by sending us an online message.




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