Is child support a shared obligation in joint custody awards?

| Jan 19, 2015 | Child Custody |

Considering its ubiquitous presence — affecting around 17 million children across the country — it may seem hard to believe that the child support system is only about 40 years old.

Some commentators claim that the system has not aged gracefully. For example, today’s workplace demographic looks very different than the office environment of the 1970s. The breadwinner model is becoming the exception, rather than the norm. Today, dual-income families, with shared parenting duties, are commonplace.

Yet according to some critics, the child support system has not been updated to reflect the demographic of modern American families. As a result, fathers might be slapped with a child support order, yet denied custodial status.

Fortunately, Ohio child support guidelines do factor both parents’ incomes and the number of children into support calculations. For unmarried parents, there are also state laws governing how paternity can be established.

A family law attorney might also assert that both parents should be included in the court’s determination of legal custody. With the help of an attorney, each parent might be able to share in a joint custody arrangement. Indeed, children can benefit from the influence of both parents, so it makes sense to share both the financial and decision-making aspects of parenting.

Even if a child resides primarily with one parent, due to practical considerations like attending a particular school, a shared parenting arrangement can still be possible. Our firm has a strong history of helping parents going through a divorce come up with creative and functional parenting plans. Under this approach, both parents may be designated as the custodial parents, with one parent serving as the residential parent.

Source: Dallas Morning News, “Ruth Graham: Deadbeats can still be good fathers,” Ruth Graham, Jan. 9, 2015

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