If We Have Equal Custody Who Pays for Support?

By: Christina Pashou, Esq.

Support Guidelines, shared physical custody means that the parenting time is approximately 50% / 50% between two parents.

In Massachusetts, both parents have a duty to support their child(ren). Typically, only the noncustodial parent makes child support payments. However, if your parenting time results in an approximate 50% / 50% split, you may qualify for a different child support formula. The Massachusetts statue regarding child support does not define precisely what parenting time percentages constitute “equal” but it is generally considered an approximate 50% / 50% split of parenting time. Under such circumstances, the child support amount is computed by calculating the child support guidelines twice: first with one parent as the recipient, and second with the other parent as the recipient. The difference between the two amounts is paid by the higher earner to the lower earner.

  • For example, if by calculating the Child Support Guidelines, based on each parent’s income, the Husband is to pay mother $500 per week, and then by running the Child Support Guidelines the Wife is to pay the Husband $300 per week, Husband will pay wife $200 per week.

Where a parent’s minimum amount of time spent with the child is more than one-third, but less than half, also known as a 60% / 40% parenting schedule,  the guidelines also change. In such instances, you must first calculate the child support guidelines with the parent who has the most time (more than 50%) as the recipient. Then you have to do the calculation again as if the parents shared equal time (as in the example above). The average between the base support (the calculation with only one parent as the recipient) and the second, equal parenting time calculation, will be the amount paid to the parent who has the majority of the parenting time.

Christina Pashou, Esq. -Best Boston Divorce Lawyer

Christina Pashou, Esq. -Best Boston Divorce Lawyer

To speak with a lawyer about divorce or other family law matter, contact Mavrides Law in Boston, Newton, or Quincy, MA. To schedule an initial consultation, call 617-723-9900 or contact the firm at info@mavrideslaw.com

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