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You opted for joint custody. Does child support still apply?

Though you and your ex did not get along well enough to stay married, you do still get along well enough to try joint custody. You both want the best for your children and understand the importance of their being able to maintain strong and healthy relationships with you both.

You both also want to put your best efforts forward, but you may still have concerns about other aspects of this arrangement, like child support. Initially, you may think that you will not have to worry about child support because you opted for joint custody. However, that may not be the case and can depend on Connecticut laws regarding the matter.

Child support can still apply to joint custody

It may seem odd for the court to issue a child support order with joint custody, but it can be useful. In most cases, there is not a perfect 50-50 split of parenting time, even with joint custody. As a result, the parent who has the children more, even just slightly more, could receive support payments from the other parent. The court will look at each parent's income, the amount of time the children are with each parent, the needs of the children and the parents' ability to pay.

If support is ordered, the paying parent will likely not have to provide a typical full support payment. For instance, if the custody arrangement is close to a 50-50 split, the court may determine what a full support payment would be and divide it by half to suit the circumstances. Of course, you and the other parent may be able to come to child support terms on your own and simply have the agreement approved by the court.

Why have child support for joint custody?

It may seem unnecessary to have child support when both parents continue to share parental responsibilities, but providing that financial support can help make the adjustment to the new living arrangements easier for the children. It can also ensure that one parent will not face financial issues that end up affecting the children's well-being.

If you have concerns about child support despite agreeing to a joint custody arrangement, you may want to discuss this topic with a family law attorney. You can go over how state laws handle the matter and whether support is necessary.

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