Massachusetts Family Law Attorneys
Back to Top

The Role of Parenting Time in Determining Child Support

Child custody (or parenting time) and child support are two separate aspects of family law, but one can have a substantial impact on the other. One of the most common questions we get here at Pollack Law Group goes something like this: If I have the children half the time, do I get a break on child support?

This can be answered by referencing your state's child support guidelines. In these guidelines, there is an assumption that the recipient of child support is the parent with primary custody (two-thirds of the parenting responsibilities).

However, there is an exception to this. If the parent who owes child support has between one-third and one-half of the parenting responsibilities, the family court will do a calculation to determine an appropriate amount of child support.

The family court already does this once, but in the event that the obligor has between one-third and one-half of the parenting time, the court will run the calculations again. For this second round of calculations, the court runs the calculation again to find the average.

We also receive this question frequently, and that is: What happens to child support when the other party and I share custody equally? If you and the child’s other parent each have approximately half of the parenting responsibilities, the family court will run the child support calculator for each of you in order to find the middle ground.

Sadly, we have seen our share of cases in which the child’s parent fights for custody primarily so that they can receive child support. A word of caution – most judges can spot this.

Do you receive child support and have two-thirds or more of the parenting time? You can get what is called an “upward deviation of support” because you are with the children more.

Child support guidelines are the same statewide, but these proceedings are handled differently from court to court. This is because all judges interpret the law and apply the facts of each case differently. This is why it is so beneficial to retain a law firm that is familiar with each of the family court judges.

To learn more about how we could help you in a child support or parenting time case, we invite you to contact Miller Law Group today for a free legal evaluation!

Categories