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Why is child support required in shared-custody scenarios?

Child support is important in situations where parents share custody and in situations where one has limited visitation. While every situation is slightly different, child support is typically provided regardless of the amount of time the parents share with the child or children. Even if both parents share custody evenly, support can still be sought.

Many people don't think that's fair, because it doesn't make a lot of sense. If you both have your child half of the time, then you're both supporting them, right? Well, things can be more complicated than that.

Even in cases where you share custody 50-50, one parent may have more than the other. Child support is a way to make up that difference, allowing the child to live in similar circumstances in both homes. Essentially, child support works to make sure your child grows up in the same kind of condition that they would have if you and your spouse were still together.

Will you pay the same amount of support regardless of the time you spend with your child?

Not always, and that's where things may be negotiable. For instance, if you have your child 50% of the time and their other parent has them half the time, then you may pay less support than someone who has their child 20% of the time or 10% of the time, since they're likely spending less money on their children in those visitation sessions. This is something to talk through with your ex-spouse or to negotiate through your attorney, so you aren't paying too much in comparison to the time you have with your child.

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