Shared Custody And Child Support

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.