Shared Custody means that both parents have a substantially equal amount of parenting
time with their children. Examples of a shared custody schedule is the
child(ren) are with one parent on Monday and Tuesday and with the other
parent on Thursday and Friday. The weekends from Friday night to Sunday
night alternate between the parents. Another arrangement could be a week
on and a week off.
So what happens to
child support if the parents have substantially equal shared custody of the children?
The NY courts have stated that the parent with the greater income should
be considered the non-custodial parent and that the child support formula
should be applied as if the non-custodial parent had to pay child support
of 17% for one child, 25% for two children, etc. Then if the parents want
to agree to a deviation from the presumed correct formula amount due to
the shared parenting responsibilities they can do so. Other approaches
have been rejected by the courts for example performing an offset calculation
where the child support is calculated on both parent's income as if
they each were the non-custodial parent and then the net difference becomes
the amount of child support. The NY courts found that such an approach
is not fair to the child who should not live in one home with reduced
income while also enjoying the other home with far more household income.
Parents that are considering a shared parenting schedule must also consider
the costs of maintaining the home for the child(ren) half the time as
well as the possible cost of a child support obligation. The best advice
would be to consult with your matrimonial attorney when considering this
type of arrangement.