At John L. Davis PLLC, we understand that dealing with child support and custody issues can be challenging. Generally, the rule goes that if one parent is awarded full custody, the other must pay child support. But who pays when the parents have a 50/50 custody arrangement? Is child support still necessary if both parents share custody equally?

The short answer is yes. 50/50 custody arrangements usually still include child support agreements. Washington State custody courts use several factors to determine the child’s best interests beyond just the division of custody time.

In this article, we’ll discuss how child custody is determined in Washington and how a 50/50 custody arrangement can affect child support. Call our Vancouver, WA office today if you are going through divorce proceedings or need help securing a fair custody arrangement.

Determining Child Custody in Washington State

In Washington State, child custody decisions are focused on the best interests of the child. The goal of each case is to create a parenting plan that ensures the child is cared for emotionally and financially. The court wants the child to receive every opportunity that they would have if their parents had stayed together, so they enforce a support agreement that maintains the standard of living that the child enjoyed before the divorce.

To determine custody, courts consider several factors, including:

The child’s wishes may also be considered if the court decides they’re old enough and mature enough to make their own decisions.

Child Support in 50/50 Custody Arrangements

In a 50/50 custody arrangement, one parent may still be required to pay child support to the other, so the child’s standard of living remains consistent. If there’s a significant difference in the income of the parents, the financially stronger person is usually required to pay. To calculate child support in a 50/50 custody arrangement, Washington courts consider several more factors, like each parent’s income, the child’s unique needs, and the standard of living that the entire family currently enjoys.

Modifying Child Support Agreements when Circumstances Change

In a 50/50 custody arrangement, child support agreements can be adjusted if one parent’s income significantly changes. For instance, if the receiving parent gets a higher-paying job, the court might decide that payments can stop. If the paying parent loses their job, the financial roles of the parents could switch. Custody agreements are also modified if the child’s needs change due to medical or educational costs.

Need Help with Child Custody or Support? Call John L. Davis PLLC

At John L. Davis PLLC, we are dedicated to helping you understand your rights and responsibilities as a parent with 50/50 custody. If you have questions about who will pay child support or how it will be calculated, don’t hesitate to contact us at (360) 597-4740. We can provide the guidance and support you need to protect your child’s future.

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