Generally, divorced parents share physical custody of their children. More often than not, the children live primarily with one parent and have a visitation schedule with the other. This trend is changing somewhat, however, and many parents are dividing their time with their shared children equally – or very close to it. This has created some confusion regarding child support payments that needs to be dispelled.
Paying Child Support
When both parents have the children an equal amount of the time, they obviously share responsibilities and expenses somewhat evenly as well. This can leave the parent who pays the other parent child support confused about why that payment remains necessary, but the truth of the matter is quite simple – if your ex is required to pay you child support, it is meant to help make things more financially equitable between the two homes you provide your children.
If your ex makes three times more than you do, for example, he or she has many more financial resources to lavish on your children. As such, his or her child support payments represent a mechanism that is intended to help lift you up financially for your children’s sake.
If Your Divorcing Spouse Is Fighting for 50/50 Custody
Some parents operate under the misguided notion that if they can be awarded 50/50 custody of their shared children, they will owe less in child support or will not have to pay child support at all. The State of Texas, however, does not see it this way – and for good reasons, including the following:
- Both parents should be able to provide comfortable homes for their children, and if the parent in need is denied child support simply because of parental scheduling, it puts him or her at a disadvantage.
- The parent who is more financially sound is generally less burdened by paying child support than the parent who receives child support is by not receiving child support or by receiving greatly reduced child support.
- Child support is calculated by determining how much mom would pay in child support if she were paying (within the given parameters of the child custody arrangements) and how much dad would pay if he were paying. The smaller amount is subtracted from the larger amount, and the higher-earning parent is obligated to pay the other parent that amount in child support each month. This helps keep things equitable for everyone involved – including the children.