Can I File for Child Support With Joint Custody in PA?

Happy Family

In many cases, the parents rule out child support and joint custody because they believe that if they are co-parenting, the issue of support is not valid to come up. The truth is that one parent is often eligible for support, and they should not undermine the chance to gain financial support from the other parent.

What Is Joint Custody?

Sharing custody means that the two parents have shared physical or legal custody of the child. If shared custody is awarded by the court, both of the parents will be expected to share the financial burden of raising the child. However, parents often forget that they could have some help from the other parent.

You should remember that support and custody are governed by different laws. The support questions are governed by the CSSA, or Child Support Standards Act. These standards are meant to solve support issues, but they do not answer the question of shared custody. Since this problem isn’t included in the CSSA, it is up to the court to determine what they believe the best course of action to be.

What is so special about child support and joint custody?

While support questions are fairly simple in the case of sole custody, things are not so black and white with shared custody. In the majority of cases, the child doesn’t spend the same amount of time with both parents. It is common for the child to spend 60% of their time with one parent and the remaining 40% with the other. These percentages can vary, and they can also influence the right to support payments.

Keep in mind that the parent the child spends 40% of their time with is still responsible for 50% of the expenses. In situations like this, the other parent will be entitled to support payments. The less time the child spends with the other parent, the greater the support payments ought to be to cover the financial responsibilities of the parent.

Further considerations

The truth is that co-parenting is a broad term, and it can mean many things. It could combine the different forms of custody and different financial responsibilities. The most common form is one of the parents having sole legal custody and shared physical custody. In rare cases, the parents could share legal custody but have sole physical custody. In situations like this, the custodial parent doesn’t necessarily have the right to support payments.

All in all, we can say that your entitlement to child support with joint custody greatly depends on the custody arrangements. You must have a good understanding of your particular case or discuss it with a family law attorney to know all the ups and downs. You don’t want to find yourself going to court asking for things that you have no right to. You also don’t want to miss out on things you do have a right to ask for.

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