If you are going through a divorce and think that you will need to pay child support, then you may wonder how the court determines what amount you will pay. This is especially true if you have a joint custody situation where you share almost equal time with your children or in a situation where you have them quite a bit of the time even though it may not be the majority of the time. Sharing parental responsibilities and time with your children can affect the child support order.
The Alabama Judicial System explains that parenting time is a consideration when making child support determinations. The court has standard guidelines it follows when deciding on support, but sharing custody can be a valid reason to not follow those guidelines and to create special guidelines for your situation.
If you spend more time with your children than what the court order says, then this could be grounds for requesting a review and modification of your child support obligations. When you provide housing and care for your children on a regular basis it costs you more money and the other parent less money, which could be a good reason for the court to decide to make changes to the child support order.
Do keep in mind that the court has the final say. It does not have to alter your child support order even if it finds you have shared parenting. The court uses many factors when determining the amount of child support, so these other factors may override your parenting time.