After a divorce, parents will no longer be spouses, but they will always remain parents. Many couples choose to have joint custody after a divorce to ensure both parents maintain a loving relationship with their children. However, the calculation of child support obligations may be complicated. In New Jersey, child support is calculated as shared parenting when the children spend more than 28 percent or 105 nights with one parent.
There are no set rules for determining child support in families that have joint custody because the circumstances of each situation are unique. The amount of time spent with each parent will typically affect the calculation, along with the incomes of both parents. In some cases, a court will calculate the child support according to guidelines and then allocate 50 percent to each parent.
Sometimes, if plans are drafted in a way in which parenting time is split equally, the court may even decide that parents need not pay each other child support. However, if a parent is ordered to pay child support, he or she may not choose to stop payment during the times that the children are in his or her care. Expenses such as housing, health insurance, school activities and more are ongoing obligations regardless of whose care the children are when child support payments are due.
When New Jersey parents are considering a divorce, the most practical step would likely be for each spouse to retain the services of an experienced family law attorney. Having the support and guidance of an attorney who is skilled in matters related to child custody and child support can be priceless. Not only can seasoned lawyers provide valuable input during negotiations, but they can also ensure that the final agreement complies with the legal requirements of the court.
Source: divorce.lovetoknow.com, “How Does Child Support Work with Joint Custody?“, Jodee Redmond, Sept. 2, 2016