How does shared child custody impact support payments?

Child custody in Louisiana can come in different forms and this can have an impact on how child support is paid. If there is a custodial parent and a noncustodial parent with visitation rights, the support arrangement will be relatively straightforward and hinge on the income and the child’s needs. If, however, the couple has a shared custodial agreement, it means there will be changes to the support obligation. Understanding this is an important part of a case and the parties should know that having such an arrangement will alter the support payments paid and received. To address these circumstances, it is always a good idea to have legal assistance.

With shared custody, the parents will both have physical custody of the child for around the same amount of time. When there is a joint custody order or plan to implement shared custody, the court will assess the situation and change the child support agreement accordingly. It will take the child support obligation and multiply it by 1.5. The parents will then divide it and it will be portioned based on their gross incomes. Next the theoretical obligation will be calculated based on how much time the child spends with the other parent so the amount will be based on that amount of time.

Additions to the costs will be child care, extraordinary medical costs, health insurance and other expenses that are out of the ordinary. The parents will need to pay a proportionate amount of medical expenses for which they are not insured and cost less than $250. The parent who owed more in child support will be ordered to pay the difference to the other parent. It cannot be higher than what the parent would owe if he or she lived with the child.

Shared child custody can be beneficial for the child as he or she will spend an approximately equal amount of time with each parent. The child support must be adjusted based on this agreement and the parents should understand that. Such a situation will generally mean that the parents are on relatively cordial terms. Regardless, legal issues can come up with any kind of child custody arrangement and a law firm that handles family law cases should be contacted for advice in dealing with this type of circumstance.

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