Where child support meets shared Parenting

The argument against shared parenting seems to be boiling down to two main arguments, 1. shared parenting means that a custodial parent will suffer the loss of financial resources, and 2.  shared parenting creates an unstable environment for children of divorce.

So lets address the first concern:

Shared Parenting Means Loss of Child Support

States factor child support two main ways: 1.  By taking a straight percentage from the noncustodial parent, 2.  Reviewing both of the parent’s financial resources to determine what support should be.

Right off the top, a shared parenting plan would not affect child support for states that review both parent’s resources.   The argument appears disingenuous and dishonest.

In the states where guideline awards are given to the primary/custodial parent –  a shared custody plan would appear to adversely affect individual’s otherwise entitled to support. In my experience as a family law attorney living in a State that imposes guideline support, I will tell you that I have yet to see a Judge review the income of both parent’s if a shared parenting plan is presented as an agreement and child support issues are presented to the court.

Shared parenting creates an unstable environment

There are many individual’s who believe that shared parenting will result in destabilizing children.   I think many parent’s would agree that a one month old child should not be split between the parent’s equally.  That does not mean that the structure doesn’t work for some parent’s or that it is, by its very nature, wrong.

If a visitation schedule in your state equals to 40% of access to the child per year.  No one is going to tell me that an extra 10% or 30 extra days per year is not going create a hardship on the child, especially if your dividing that number by the number of months in the year (30/12 = 2.5 extra day’s of access per month).

We need to think about the child’s needs first and then create an incentive based plan that moves towards shared parenting An incentive based program creates less tension, less conflict.   An incentive based program moving to shared parenting requires the parties to communicate, focus and interact, all key elements in creating a model for cooperative parenting.

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