I have my children in my care about equal time. How does this affect my child support?
In order to have a shared parenting arrangement, the child or children must spend at least 40% of the time with each parent. A split parenting arrangement can occur in a family with two or more children when some of the children reside primarily with one parent (more than 60% of the time) while the other children reside primarily with the other.
Section 9 of the Child Support Guidelines describes the factors considered when determining how to calculate child support in a shared or split parenting situation. The factors are:
- How much support each parent should pay based on their respective incomes and the corresponding amount of support payable under Child Support Guidelines;
- The increased costs to both parents due to the child or children residing with them at least 40% of the time;
- The particular conditions, means, needs and other circumstances of each parent and of the children that require support.
In many circumstances, child support in a shared or split parenting arrangement is calculated by determining the full Child Support Guidelines child support amount payable by one parent based on their income and the number of children to support, set off against the other parent’s full Child Support Guidelines child support amount. For example, if a couple has three children residing with each of them at least 40% of the time, the Parents will first consult the Child Support Guidelines. If Parent 1 earns $100,000.00 per year and Parent 2 earns $60,000.00 per year, Parent 1’s monthly child support obligation could be set off against Parent 2’s monthly child support obligation.
Of course, each family’s circumstances may be quite different. Determining whether a parent has reached the 40% threshold of time spent with the child/children is also not a simple endeavour, as there are a number of factors to consider in the calculations. Consulting with a family lawyer in order to discuss your family’s situation and obtain legal advice on the correct amount of child support that should be paid or received could save you from a difficult situation in the future. It is in the children’s best interests that they receive adequate financial support in both households.