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Do I Have To Pay Child Support If We Have 50/50 Custody Of The Child?


Many people in Florida believe that if they have 50/50 custody over a child they will not have to pay child support. This is not necessarily true. The amount of child support that each parent is required to pay is decided by Florida law and in the majority of cases, one parent will pay child support to the other parent. In this article, the Orlando child support attorneys at Greater Orlando Family Law will discuss child support payments in 50/50 custody arrangements.

How do the Florida courts calculate child support payments? 

Under Florida law, both parents are required to contribute to the support of the child. The amount of child support paid is predetermined by the Florida Child Support Guidelines. Florida uses what is known as the “income shares model” to determine the amount of child support paid by a parent. Child support is thus calculated by adding the monthly net incomes of both parents together.

The amount of support a parent pays can be offset by expenses they pay related to the child. This includes childcare fees, health insurance costs, and timesharing (the number of overnight visits each parent has with the child). So, a 50/50 split in timesharing will definitely influence what the parent has to pay in child support, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t owe any child support to the other parent simply because there is an even split in timesharing. The court may also consider offsetting expenses related to medical care for the child or private school tuition.

Generally speaking, a parent with primary timesharing responsibility or the parent who spends more time with the children will incur the most expenses. For that reason, the parent who has the children the most is the one who will receive child support payments. When timesharing is split 50/50, both parents are presumed to contribute to the daily support of the child equally. This can certainly impact child support payments, but it will not necessarily eliminate them. The parent who earns the most money may be on the hook for paying child support to the other parent. This is especially true if the parent stays at home as opposed to working.

Can an Orlando attorney help me reduce my child support payments? 

Child custody arrangements change as the child becomes older. In an equal timesharing plan, it is possible that one parent would pay no child support at all. For this to happen, both parties must split timesharing 50/50, have roughly the same income, and the same resources. In this situation, the parents would divide the cost of childcare and healthcare.

It is possible to modify a child support agreement if there is a major change to the visitation schedule. If a child was primarily staying with one parent and then decides to split time between the parents, that would be a change worthy of modifying a child support order. An Orlando family law attorney can help you reduce your child support payments based on a change to the visitation schedule.

Talk to an Orlando Family Law Attorney Today 

Greater Orlando Family Law represents the interests of parents who need to modify a child support arrangement. Call our office today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin discussing your concerns right away.



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