Is child support necessary with joint custody?

Going through divorce as a parent can be one of the most difficult parts of a person’s life. Determining child custody arrangements and how child support will work can seem overwhelming, and many parents worry about how the outcomes will affect the kids. Once custody is determined, support payments are often next on the list of importance.

When it comes to child custody in Kentucky, the presumed best arrangement under state law is joint custody. While many parents may appreciate this presumption, it may raise questions about how child support will be handled. Since parents with joint custody may have close to 50-50 parenting time, it likely seems unfair to many for one parent to pay a considerable amount of support to the other.

Of course, support payments are often based on the amount of time each parent has with the kids. When it comes to joint custody, a breakdown of the annual cost of raising a child may help with determining support. For instance, the estimated cost of raising a child is approximately $12,900, which equates to roughly $1,000 per month. Therefore, it makes sense for child support to equal $500 per parent. However, that does not necessarily mean that this will be the outcome as equal parenting time may eliminate the need for support.

Because each divorce case is different, each child custody and child support outcome will be different as well. Though Kentucky law has a presumption of joint custody, that may not be the result for every family. Each individual going through the divorce process may find it helpful to consult with his or her legal counsel regarding the possible outcomes and how to work toward achieving one’s desired goals.