You might. It all depends on the circumstances of your divorce.

When you get divorced in Lawrenceville, Georgia, you’ll need to make lots of decisions. If you have children, those decisions could become more complex and emotional. Divorce, child custody, and child support can have a substantial impact on your finances. Seek appropriate legal advice to help you navigate this complex time.

In the meantime, this blog post will provide insight into whether you might have to pay child support despite a 50/50 custody ruling.

Child Custody

Under Georgia law, judges are required to consider what is in the best interests of a child when making a custody decision. There is a presumption that a judge starts with 50/50 custody. Unless there is some good reason to change that presumption, like if one parent is abusive or in prison, 50/50 is usually how child custody ends up in a divorce. 

With this approach, each parent has equal time with their child, allowing for the relationship between them to develop. But this also leads to potential confusion about whether one spouse should be paying the other any child support.

Child Support

While related, child custody and support are separate determinations by a judge. Both parents have an obligation and a duty to provide for their children. When a couple is married, the children are provided for through the marriage. In divorce, the intent is for nothing to change for the children, and that includes financial support.

Under Georgia’s child support guidelines, courts will consider several factors when determining if and how much child support to award one parent:

  • Each parent’s current income and earning potential
  • The individual assets and debts of each parent
  • The number of children of this marriage and any other children each parent may have
  • Health insurance costs
  • Support received from other parents
  • Shared costs of raising each child
  • Custody agreements

Custody and income are two of the biggest factors courts will consider. If one parent has primary custody but the other parent doesn’t make much money, the court won’t make the other parent destitute by requiring a substantial portion of their limited pay goes to the primary custodial parent. However, each parent is required to contribute resources that keep the child in a similar position to when the parents were married. 

Because of this, courts will consider the earning potential of each parent. When one parent has the ability to earn much more than the other, they may be required to pay a certain amount in child support to the other parent, even in a 50/50 custody setting. 

Custodial parents are not frequently required to pay child support since they’re the ones managing the day-to-day of their child’s life. They’re also responsible for shouldering the daily costs of having the child. Child support payments are intended to offset that burden.

So with 50/50 custody, why would one parent still have to pay child support? Finances. When one parent earns substantially more than the other, it’s likely the court will require them to pay child support. In essence, the court is making them pitch in more financially to make sure the child’s needs are still met.

Speak With a Lawrenceville Child Support Lawyer Today

Child support calculations are confusing and complex. But remember that they can be changed down the line if circumstances change. So even if you are already paying child support, you may be able to get that changed with a new court order. 

To get skilled and seasoned guidance, contact a reputable child support lawyer in Lawrenceville, Georgia, today. An experienced family law attorney can ensure that your rights are represented and that you’re not taken advantage of in any child support-related proceeding.

Contact the Lawrenceville Child Support Lawyers at Crystal Wright Law To Get Legal Assistance Today

To learn more and get the help you deserve, call our divorce & family law firm at (404) 594-2143 or reach out to Crystal Wright Law online by visiting our contact us page.
You can also visit our law firm at 440 S. Perry Street Suite 105, Lawrenceville, GA 30046.