In joint custody cases, who pays child support and how much child support depends on several factors. First you will consider the incomes of both parties, and second you will look at how many overnights the children spend every week with each parent. In the state of Georgia, when two parents share equal parenting time of the children, the parent who makes a higher income is the one who becomes responsible for paying child support.
The Income Shares Model in Determining Child Support
When child support is determined using the income shares model, the income of both parents is looked at. To keep it simple, if a mother earns $40,000 a year, and the father earns $80,000 a year, their combined shared income is $120,000. This means that the mother would be responsible for 1/3 of the support necessary for the children and the father would be responsible for 2/3. The state of Georgia utilizes the income shares model when calculating child support.
When There is Joint Custody
Another factor taken into consideration when child support is calculated is the number of overnights the child spends with each parent. If the child spends equal amounts of time with both parents, then child support is paid to the parent who makes less money. If the child lives more of the time with the parent who makes less money, that parent will be awarded a higher percentage of child support.
Joint custody specifically refers to the number of overnights spent with each parent. Even if you see your child every day, if they don’t sleep at your house, that custody time doesn’t count when it comes to figuring out child support.
If you are struggling to meet your child support obligations or you believe you do not have a fair child support order, it’s time to meet with an attorney who can help you. Together we can discuss your finances and your current parenting plan to establish what you should be paying to support your children.