Georgia requires parents to be financially responsible for their children even if they do not live with them. Therefore, non-custodial parents often pay child support to custodial parents. The custodial parent is the parent who lives with the child and is responsible for most of the day-to-day parenting responsibilities.

Georgia courts begin with a presumption that the child benefits from joint custody. However, child custody cases are decided based on the best interests of the child. Therefore, a judge may not grant joint custody or award primary custody to one party if that is in the child’s best interest. 

Even though parents share 50/50 custody in Lawrenceville, one parent generally is the custodial parent. It can be disruptive for a child to move every other week between homes so that parents can spend precisely 50% of the time with the child. So, parents in Lawrenceville might share joint custody while the child primarily lives with one parent.

Therefore, you might be required to pay child support even if you share 50/50 custody in Lawrenceville, Georgia. The amount of child support paid in a 50/50 custody arraignment depends on several factors.

How Does Georgia Decide Child Support in Cases Where Parents Share 50/50 Custody in Lawrenceville?

Child support is an important issue in many divorce and family law cases. The judge determines the best custody arrangement for the child. Then, the court orders child support payments. 

The Georgia Child Support Guidelines consider several factors when deciding how much child support to order in a case. Factors include:

  • The income and earning potential of both parents
  • The number of children the parties share and other children a parent might have 
  • The individual debts and assets of each parent
  • The custody arrangement, including how much time the child spends with each parent
  • Shared costs of raising children
  • Health insurance costs
  • Support payments a parent might receive from another party

The two most significant factors judges consider are the custody arrangement and the income of each parent. Typically, the parent who earns more money will make child support payments. However, if that parent has sole custody or the child is with the parent most of the time, the parent earning less money could be the one paying child support.

Judges consider how child support payments impact the parent’s financial resources. A judge is unlikely to cause a parent to become impoverished by requiring them to pay a considerable amount to the primary custodial parent. 

However, the court requires both parents to contribute resources to ensure the child maintains a similar standard of living based on their share of the joint income. If a parent has substantially more income and the ability to pay more of the child’s expenses, the court could order them to pay support, even in a 50/50 split custody arrangement. 

Therefore, income is the primary reason someone pays children support when they share 50/50 custody. If they have more income, they will likely pay child support to the other parent to meet the child’s needs.

Modifications of Child Support in Lawrenceville, GA

Circumstances change as a child grows up. As your child gets older, the child might spend more time at one parent’s home. The reason could be friends, school, social activities, preferences, or convenience. Whatever the reason for the shift in parenting time, the change could be grounds for modifying child support payments.

Let’s assume the judge ordered shared 50/50 custody at the final divorce hearing. For years, you and your ex-spouse have shared custody. Your child might spend slightly more time with the other parent, but the arrangement is basically a 50/50 split.

Your child spends 70 to 80 percent of their time with you now. However, you continue to pay the same amount of child support based on the 50/50 custody arraignment. You and your spouse earn about the same amount of income.

In this case, it might be worthwhile to petition the court for a modification order. A modification order incorporates the new time-sharing arrangement, and the court could modify child support payments as a result.

Your child is now with you most of the time. Therefore, you are responsible for more of your child’s needs. As a result, the court could terminate your child support payments and require your spouse to begin paying child support to you. 

If you have questions about child support and child custody, the best source for answers is an experienced Lawrenceville child custody lawyer. An attorney can provide advice tailored to your specific situation while meeting with you. Reach out for a free consultation to learn more.

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.