Can Child Support Be Avoided with Joint Custody?

As recent as the late 1990s, family courts across the nation were in the practice of showing preferential treatment to mothers in child custody cases, but that’s the past and things are handled quite differently now.

In the past 30 years, women have joined the labor force in unprecedented numbers. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor reports that 47% percent of the workers in the U.S. are women and 70% of mothers with minor children work, and over 75% of them work full-time. This societal shift has changed the way courts view child custody disputes, and in effect, fathers are now given equal consideration in child custody cases. Actually, the courts have discovered how children do better when both parents are actively engaged in their children’s lives and this has led to a growing trend where mothers and fathers have joint physical custody of their children.

Does Joint Custody Eliminate Child Support?

Before we dive into the child support issue, we want to explain joint physical custody: it doesn’t necessarily mean the parents have the children for exactly the same amount of days each year, but it can be close.

“If I have 50/50 joint custody, does that mean I don’t have to pay child support?” If you earn more money than your ex, you may have to pay some child support and you may have to contribute to employment-related childcare expenses and uninsured medical expenses.

Generally, the more time a parent has with their kids, the less the will have to pay in child support but it doesn’t always happen that way. If the other parent is on public assistance for example, you could end up paying more child support, even if you have the kids more.

Related: When Can a Child Choose Which Parent to Live with in California?

Contact our firm to meet with a San Diego divorce lawyer for all of your child support and custody needs.