WHO PAYS CHILD SUPPORT WHEN PARENTS HAVE SPLIT CUSTODY (50%-50%)

How Does Texas Define Joint Custody?

In Texas, custody is often referred to as a conservatorship. When parents have joint custody, it is a joint managing conservatorship. While joint custody might seem to indicate each parent physically has the child 50% of the time, that is usually not the case.

Parents typically make important decisions regarding the child together, and one parent is typically the primary joint managing conservator, meaning the child will physically stay with them the majority of the time. A parenting plan can set forth a visitation schedule for the other parent.

Who Pays Child Support?

When parents have joint custody, child support is still paid. The court will decide the details of the child support, depending on certain details.

Generally, the parent that does not have primary custody of the child, the noncustodial parent, pays the other parent, the custodial parent, child support.

Factors at Play

The noncustodial parent usually pays the custodial parent child support. Which parent gets primary custody depends on the best interests of the child. When determining what is best for the child, the court will consider certain factors, including:

  • The needs of the child;
  • The child’s preferences (if the child is 12 or older);
  • The relationship between parent and child;
  • Stability at home;
  • Parenting skills;
  • Cooperation between the parents;
  • Whether there are siblings that should stay together; and
  • The fitness of each parent.
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