Child support is an integral part of custody rulings in divorce settlements. Your divorce attorney will give you the best indication but, in general, the parent that makes more money will be the one who has to pay the support. How much support that will be depends on the income of the parents and the needs of the child. The courts will always be looking at the best interests of the child, and those needs will determine how much money is paid out.

Parents custoday and child's support

But what about those instances where the custody ruling is a joint one, where both parents share equal custody of the child? In those cases, it is still very likely that one of the parents will be paying the other child support. That’s because the income is likely to be uneven, and the bigger earner would be expected to pay the largest part of the child’s support.

Even though equal time is spent with the child, equal income is not being earned, and the judge will try to make things fair across the board, as much as possible.

The only instance where there would be no child support paid in a joint custody situation is when the parents share equal custody and have equal income. This is incredibly unlikely, however, and you should not expect that to happen in your case. As a rule, one of the parents will be paying child support and that’s going to tend to be the one who earns more, if they don’t live with the child.

How much support is being paid and if support needs to be paid at all will not be a one-time decision. The wellbeing of the child, the child’s needs and the general parameters of the ruling will be revisited from time to time. If one of the parents changes jobs and starts to earn more or less, then the amount of child support being paid may change.

If one of the parents becomes disabled or their life changes in some dramatic way, then child support decision may be reconsidered as well. Any major changes need to be reported to the judge so a determination can be made as to what will be done about child support. If you aren’t sure about child support obligations in your case, then you should consult a lawyer before you move forward with proceedings, so you know what to expect.