Burke Levy, P.C.

Determining child support in shared custody cases

Child support is important whether the parents share custody or not. Regardless of the custody agreement set in place, both parents share the responsibility of any financial obligations related to raising the child. Massachusetts parents with joint custody are advised to understand the court's decision process when determining any child support responsibilities.

In a joint custody case, a judge appoints only one parent to take on full responsibility of a child while the other parent, depending on the state's statute, is ordered to pay child support. Depending on different formulas, child support can be calculated based on income, number of children or how many days the parent and child are together. In some situations, new child support can be ordered by the courts when a previously determined amount is found unfair.

When it comes to determining or changing child support, parents with joint custody agreements are advised to understand the deciding factors. A judge will consider any extra or new expenses that arise, such as clothing or travel expenses, as well as each parent's ability to maintain a separate home for the child. Reaching an effective child support agreement not only helps the parents, but the child benefits as well.

A child is a blessing and should be taken care of and raised well regardless of the custody arrangement. Massachusetts parents who are unable to communicate effectively may benefit from the help of an experienced legal counsel to help determine appropriate child support amounts. With positive and effective collaboration, a compromise may be reached.

Source: thespruce.com, "What to Know About Joint Custody Child Support Rules", Debrina Washington, Accessed on Feb. 13, 2018

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