Custodial Time and Child Support: The Affect of Joint Custody

Custodial Time and Child Support: The Affect of Joint CustodyGuiding Factors


You can calculate child support obligations using New Jersey’s child support guidelines. The guidelines apply factors such as net income and prior support orders to calculate each parent’s child support obligation. But the guidelines are based on the presumption that one parent has all of the custodial time. In other words, the custodial parent has the child for 52 overnights a year while the noncustodial parent has visitation. Joint custody arrangements can affect child support. You can still use the child support guidelines by adjusting the percentage of custodial time each parent has.

Why Custodial Time Matters

Generally speaking, the more custodial time a parent has with a child, the less his or her child support obligation would be. For example, if a parent had 100% of the custodial time, he or she typically wouldn’t pay the other parent child support. But if parents have joint custody and share custodial time equally (50/50), then their respective child support obligations would be affected. The parents’ net incomes after taxes and other allowable deductions can be significant contributing factors in determining their respective child support obligations.

Financial Support vs. Child Support

Sharing custody could mean you pay less state-mandated child support. But what you don’t pay for child support goes toward the typical costs of parenting. As a custodial parent, you will financially provide for your child on a day-to-day basis. Child support is meant to cover the necessary costs of raising a child. The custodial parent normally assumes these costs including food, clothing, and activities.

What Else Can Affect Child Support?

Many other factors can affect child support, including prior support orders and health insurance coverage for the child. Work with a seasoned New Jersey child custody and child support attorney if you need help determining child support. While New Jersey uses standard guidelines in calculating base child support, it’s essential to ensure you can meet all your child’s financial needs. For example, you might need to include childcare in your child support calculation. An attorney can help you get a support order that is reasonable and will provide for your child’s needs.


Do you need the help of a New Jersey child custody attorney? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help you protect your rights and those of your child. Located in Short Hills, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.


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