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How To Calculate Child Support with 50/50 Parenting

Q: Is Child Support zero ($0.00) when there is equal, shared or 50/50 parenting? A: Qualified, maybe. Many parents ask why they should be paying child support when they have 50/50 parenting. The answer is not so simple that there is never child support or always child support. The simple answer lies in how you word the question. If there is 50/50 parenting, both parties are equally responsible for costs and expenses, that they share in uncovered medical and extracurricular expenses and they make the same income, then there is no child support from or to either parent. IN reality, all of the foregoing is seldom the case. Often one party makes more than the other; in that case most courts issue some sort of offset from the traditional child support guidelines. The Kentucky child support guidelines were set forth with an assumption of a primary residential parent or sole custody. With modern courts and the new presumption of shared (50/50) parenting, the child support guidelines are only the starting block to calculate support. Often one party pays additional cost for medical insurance. In that case, even if the incomes are equal the parties should divide the cost for providing coverage for the child(ren). How do you calculate expenditures? Do parties equally divide all expenses or do they each provide necessities for the child/children while in their care. What about lunch money and larger items such as school dances and field trips? Do the parties need to agree on expenses? Most family law courts calculate support from each parent, then deduct the lower from the higher to achieve a child support number based on equal parenting offset. Uncovered medical and extracurricular expenses are most often divided in proportion to incomes, and not simply with an equal split. Note: parents should discuss and try to agree on division of outside expenses such as cell phones, car insurance and vehicles for older children. If you have a child support, custody or dissolution, you should consult with an experienced family law attorney who regularly practices in your county. For consultation in Northern Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at [email protected] to schedule.

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