Law Offices of Steven A. Dinneen

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Determining child support for joint custody agreements

Joint custody is the shared legal or physical custody of a child or children after the parents are no longer living in the same home due to divorce or separation. These arrangements indicate that parents share the responsibilities of caring for their children’s emotional, physical, and financial needs. If you’re a California resident, here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to determining child support in a joint child custody agreement.

Factors that determine child support

Legal custody is not usually used to calculate child support. Physical child custody is used as a guideline for child support payments since it helps to determine how much time each parent spends with the children.

The CSSA or Child Support Standards Act was established in 2008 as a formula to determine a parent’s child support responsibilities. However, the formula does not indicate exactly how much money a parent owes in child support.

How much will you owe?

State laws are used to determine child support payment amounts for parents with joint child custody. These rules depend on each parent’s income, local laws, how much time each parent spends with the children, and the detailed needs of each child.

According to the CSSA, the court should require the parent who isn’t with the child full-time to pay a share of support based on their income and the number of children that the couple shares. Each state will follow a different formula to determine the amount each parent owes.

Most states use the Income Shares Model to determine a fair child support amount for parents who have joint custody. Some judges also use a hybrid model to determine what both parents will pay in child support.