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How do child custody arrangements affect child support obligations?

Louisiana strives for fairness in calculating child support obligations. The process involves taking information from both parents to determine the proper amount of payments and who should receive them.

In general, income is the major factor in determining child support payments. Still, parenting time can have an impact.

The formula for support

Louisiana law requires a court to consider the incomes of both parents along with the costs of caring for the child to determine child support. If parents share parenting time, it will reduce their childcare costs, which is the first impact custody arrangements can have on support payments.

Joint custody rules

The state law also considers joint custody with specific rules for figuring child support for parents who share time with their children. The law requires the court to consider the amount of time the children spend with each parent and to adjust the support accordingly.

It is possible for the court to credit the parent assigned to pay support for the time he or she has the children. A credit will happen when a parent has the children for more than 73 days. Any arrangement where one parent does not have the children for at least 73 days will not get the benefit of shared parenting time.

The bottom line is that custody arrangements can greatly impact child support obligations. It comes down to ensuring the children have proper financial support regardless of which parent they are with. Typically, the parent who earns more will pay at least something in support regardless of custody arrangements simply because it will help in the care of the children.