Divorce forces separating partners to resolve numerous legal, personal and financial matters. One such trying issue is the well-being of said couple’s minor children. One important concern regarding such entities is child support. One issue that child support lawyers routinely deal with is answering the question on if child support should be paid if the divorced parents share child custody equally.
In Texas, child custody is known by the term conservatorship. Family courts encourage separating spouses to work in conjunction to establish an acceptable joint conservatorship plan in which both mother and father will work out living, visitation and transportation schedules and determine who will bear responsibility for providing said issue health care and pay for education.
Typically, courts will accept the wishes of parents who amicably reach agreement upon said concerns and place such provisions into a written parenting plan. However, should any extenuating circumstances arise or the parents not able to reach amenable terms, the court will make such decisions based on the children’s best interests.
Some parents holding joint conservatorship might wonder if they are required to remit child support payments in addition to the care they are already providing. However, before addressing that question, separating parents must first make sure joint custody is a 50 percent share and physical custody is also part of the arrangement.
Individuals not bestowed at least 50 percent joint custody might be precluded from rendering important legal, medical and financial decisions related to their children. Additionally, being considered a non-custodial parent might have a negative impact upon the ability to negotiate important financial matters such as child support payments.
It is crucial to realize that holding joint physical conservatorship will not necessarily preclude one parent from having to remit child support payments once the divorce is finalized. In Texas, when parents share conservatorship evenly, several established models might be used to make such determinations:
Income Shared Model
Under this category, the combined incomes of both parents are used to determine child support payments. For example, if the mother earns $25,000 and father brings in $50,000, the combined earnings are $75,000. Under the combined income model, the mother would be required to remit one-third of her children’s total living expenses because she earns 33 percent of the parents combined income. On the other hand, the father would be required to remit 67 percent of his children’s living expenses because he earns two-thirds of the parents total income.
In certain instances, joint conservatorship child support payments are calculated by determining what each parent would be required to pay if decisions were rendered in accordance with state guidelines. Once each established amount was discerned, the monthly lower support payment would then be subtracted from the higher support payment. Upon calculating these amounts, the parent with the higher calculated obligation would be required to pay the difference, which would be the accepted monthly child support payment.
Granted, child support payment matters with shared conservatorship can be confusing. Ergo, divorcing individuals residing in North Texas hoping to establish joint conservatorship are encouraged to speak with an experienced child support lawyer who can help said client navigate through these potentially challenging issues. Call our law offices today at any of our convenient locations and get a free consultation.
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