This will answer the most frequently asked questions about how joint custody affects child support in Florida.
Do I have to pay child support when we have joint custody?
Yes, you do have to pay child support when you have joint custody. Parenting time does not significantly change the amount of child support.
Does joint custody mean neither parent pays child support?
No, the highest earning parent pays child support even with joint custody.
Do I pay less child support when there is joint custody?
No, you pay the same amount of child support whether there’s joint custody or sole custody with visitation.
Which parent pays child support when there is joint custody?
The higher-earning parent is the one that pays child support in joint custody. Typicaly, that’s the father, but we’ve seen mothers pay child support as well.
Is there child support in joint custody when the parents have similar salaries and there is no higher-earning parent?
It seem that when there is no higher earning parent, the salaries cancel out and no one pays child support.
Is there child support when the parents have similar salaries when there is sole custody?
When one of the parents has sole custody, the other parent pays child support even when the parents have similar salaries. Because that the law assumes that the parent who has the child living with them full time is already paying most of the child’s expenses.
How much child support do I have to pay when there is joint custody?
The child support would depend on the number of children and your income. Typically, child support is calculated based on your gross income and is at based on the number of children according to the child support guidelines (the numbers start on page 3).
Do I pay less child support when I have more overnights?
If you have more overnights, we can ask the judge to adjust child support for you to pay less than the formula, due to the additional expenses of having more overnights such as food, entertainment and a bigger place for the child to sleep. We can also adjust daycare and education child support additions accordingly.
How many overnights to reduce child support?
Typically, if you have more than 20% of overnights, or more than 73 overnights a year, we can ask the judge to adjust child support for you to pay less than the formula.
Is there a way to pay less child support than the formula is asking?
Yes, but you would have to successfully argue to the judge that a deviation from the child support percentage is justified, which is not an easy thing to do.
Is there a way to make the father pay more child support than the formula requires?
Yes, but the mother would have to convince the judge that an increase in child support and a deviation from the formula is justified.
If you are asking for joint custody of your child and would like the best child support arrangement you can get, call attorney Albert Goodwin, Esq. at 954-299-0053 or 786-522-1411.