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Who pays child support in a joint custody situation?

In general, whichever parent has primary custody of their child will also receive support payments from their ex. However, with custody increasingly trending toward joint custody and shared parenting, how are Texas parents to handle child support payments? Ultimately, it comes down to the individual needs of each family. 

The co-founder of two prominent organizations -- including the Center for Parental Responsibility -- Molly Olsen recently spoke about how the historical precedent of kids staying with mom 26 days out of the month is not only outdated, but also not supported by research or data. As most people know by now, dads are also incredibly important to their children's lives, and not just because they used to be the main payers of child support. Spending around 50 percent of their time with their dads is an emotionally healthy thing for kids. 

This means that child support will not necessarily automatically fall to dad anymore, though. Instead, the parent with the higher income will likely be tasked with making support payments, although that is not always the case either. Since joint custody gives both parents the opportunity to contribute to their children's financial well-being on a regular basis, some parents even employ something called a Children's Checkbook. In this setup, co-parents agree to budget a certain amount of money for the child each month, which is deposited into a specific account that is used only for the child. 

As societal expectations shift, family law must change to keep up. More and more Texas families are turning to joint custody after divorce, which means that child support may not be as straightforward as they would hope. To ensure that the child is still financially supported without unequally burdening one parent over the other, many individuals facing these concerns consult with an experienced attorney during the process. 

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Law Office of Jacqueline McNutt
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