Child custody and child support orders may seem similar, but they are different. Physical child custody orders determine which parent gets to care for his or her kids on which day, but child support orders determine which parent (if any) will give money to another parent to subsidize the cost of raising a child.
While these two orders refer to different things, do they impact each other?
Physical Child Custody & Child Support
A change in the physical child custody order can impact a child support order. Therefore, if someone’s time with their children under a physical child custody order increases, the child support they pay may decrease or if they are receiving child support it may go up. In the same way, if someone’s time with their children under a physical child custody order decreases, their child support order of money they receive may decrease and if they are the paying party their child support they have to pay may increase.
Make sense? So, basically if you are the one receiving child support, if your time with your children goes down, your support may go down too. If you are paying child support and your time with your children goes up then you may have to pay less. Of course, changes in income come into play as well.
Bottom line, you always want to do what is best for your children, right?
Why Does Child Custody Impact Child Support Payments?
Here’s why a parent’s responsibility under a child custody order has an impact on his or her child support order. Every parent has an inherent responsibility to care for their children, and this is enforced by family courts and judges.
If a child regularly lives with a parent, the parent has to pay for food, rent, and other things to help the child thrive. Therefore, courts recognize that housing a child in your home fulfills your legal responsibility to care for your child. However, what happens when a child doesn’t live with a parent?
Child support payments come into play when a child doesn’t live with a parent all of the time. Essentially, child support payments are enforced to ensure that a parent financially cares for his or her child even when the child doesn’t live with him or her. The parent is fulfilling their legal obligation to care for their child by sending money to the other parent to help them pay for necessities.
Therefore, if parents increase the amount of time they spend with their children via a court order, they might decrease the amount of money they need to pay to fulfill their legal obligation to care for their child.
Still Confused? We Can Help!
If this is the first time you’re coming across this topic, you may still be confused as to what this all means for you. If you or a loved one is or is going to be in a child support situation soon, contact attorney Andrea Schneider to get your questions answered concerning child support and child custody orders.
Call (619) 304-8499 now for a free consultation concerning your case!