Information About Child Support Payments For Joint Custody

  • By:David Bate

Criminal Defense Lawyer

When two parents share joint custody, this means that physical and/or legal custody of their child is divided between both of them. In these situations, the parents both have to share duties pertaining to raising their children and making decisions for their well being. Parents who were awarded joint custody must understand how this will impact the amount they receive or pay in child support. By hiring a family law attorney, you can get the answers you need directly from a legal source. 

Why May Child Support Be Needed?

Parents who share the responsibility of taking care of their children may wonder why either of them would have to pay child support. The intention of child support is to provide consistent support, an easier adjustment, and financial stability for the children. These supplemental payments can enable a parent to give the child what they need to thrive in school, have feelings of security, and adjust socially by participating in hobbies and sports.

What is the Goal of Child Support?

If possible, each parent should strive to reach an agreement about child support and custody amongst themselves in a way that they feel is fair. But if they aren’t able to, then attorneys, mediators, and the court may have to get involved. The general principle of child support is to give that child the same level of support and lifestyle that they had while their parents were married. Child support payments enforced by the court aim to ensure that this happens. 

What If Child Support Needs To Be Modified?

The parents can create a parenting plan together, and then track the expenses which are related to taking care of the child’s needs. If the parents have a decent enough relationship, they can communicate between each other when more money is needed. But, if the parents cannot work together, then the parents can file a petition for child support modification to the court. A hearing will be held in which both parents will have a chance to express why they believe child support modification should or should not happen, and then the judge determines the final verdict.

Reasons that child support modification may be needed include: 

  • If the child’s needs have drastically changed
  • If either parent has endured a job loss or medical injury/diagnosis
  • If either parent has been put in jail
  • There is an increase in the child’s living and lifestyle expenses, such as rent, utilities, groceries, medication, education, and clothing
  • The child has been diagnosed with a medical condition or disability that requires additional help 

Do I Need to Hire an Attorney?

If you and the child’s other parent are able to collaborate together when it comes to providing for your child, then you may not need legal assistance. However, if the other parent ever becomes difficult to negotiate with or stops making child support payments, then you may need to recruit support from a child custody lawyer in Rockville, MD near you.



Thanks to Daniel J. Wright for their insight into family law and child support payments for joint custody.

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