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Will I Owe Child Support if I Have Equal Parenting Time?

Morris County NJ Child Support Calculation AttorneysChild support is determined using a wide range of factors in New Jersey. Not the least of which is your existing child custody agreement. Where and with whom a child spends the majority of his and her time is certainly a large part of how much child support is owed, if any. However, there are many situations where parents in a joint custody or shared custody agreement will still owe or be owed child support.

Today, our child support attorneys will discuss how child custody plays a role in determining child support, how financial situations come into play, and what happens for parents who enjoy equal parenting time with a child.

Morris County, NJ Child Support Calculation Attorneys Identify Child Custody’s Impact on Support Payments

In New Jersey, child support is calculated to help co-parents provide financially for their child. It is important to understand that the terms of your child support agreement are intended to best care for the child, and take little to no interest in the wishes of the co-parents. With that being said, your Morris County child support calculation attorneys will likely use two primary indicators to set expectations for your child support agreement: 1. your child custody agreement and 2. the financial situation of each parent.

The existing child custody agreement or terms of a concurrent agreement are heavily weighted during child support calculations. This is due primarily to the fact that it is assumed that the parent physically responsible for the child will be paying for the child’s expenses during that time. Therefore, the larger percentage of custodial time or parenting time by the custodial parent, it is reasonable to expect larger the child support payments.

Chatham Child Support Lawyers Discuss Joint Child Custody or Equal Parenting Time Arrangements

So what happens when you and your co-parent have agreed to equal or near-equal parenting time? In the eyes of the court, child support may be owed even in these situations. This is due to point number 2 from the previous sections – the financial situations of each co-parent. Essentially, if a parent has a substantially stronger financial situation, the courts will want the child to enjoy that financial security with both co-parents. This isn’t to say that equal parenting time is not a factor in the calculation. Equal parenting time will result in significantly reduced child support payments when compared to a sole child custody arrangement.

To clarify a common point of confusion, joint physical custody, joint legal custody, and equal parenting time can all describe different situations. Your Chatham child support lawyers may use all of these terms at different times throughout the legal process:

Physical Child Custody – physical, sometimes referred to as “residential” custody is what most people think of when they think child custody. This is the part of your child custody agreement which has a material impact on your child support agreements. Agreements may be for joint physical custody, shared physical custody, or sole physical custody.

Legal Child Custody – less known is legal custody, which refers to the right of each co-parent to make major decisions in the child’s life. This form of child custody will have no bearing on child support calculations.

Parenting Time – when non-custodial parents care for their children, that is considered parenting time. Many child custody agreements have terms for both physical custody and parenting time separately. Parenting time is considered within child support calculations, but is not considered as heavily as physical child custody.

Contact our Morristown Child Support Calculation Attorneys Today

The child support calculation attorneys of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark take pride in serving families from local Morris County communities including Morristown, Harding, Morris Township, Chester, Chatham, Mendham, and across Northern New Jersey. Our firm is led by three attorneys selected by the New Jersey Supreme Court as Certified Matrimonial Law Attorneys, an honor earned by only two percent of practicing attorneys in the state. Our attorneys practice family and divorce law exclusively, which allows us to stay up-to-date with all of the legal matters which matter most to our clients. We believe in working closely with clients to address their individual needs and concerns throughout the family law legal process.

For a free and confidential consultation regarding your child support or child custody questions, please contact us online or call our Morristown, NJ offices by dialing (973) 840-8970 today.