Is child support paid when parents share kids 50/50?


Attorney Michelle Barry discusses how child support is arrived at when the parties share parental responsibility 50/50. For more videos featuring Attorney Michelle A. Barry, visit her LawTube lawyer page!


Attorney Tom Olsen: I'd like to introduce you to Attorney Michelle Barry. She specializes in family law, including divorce, alimony, child support and time sharing. Hey Michelle, welcome to the show.

Attorney Michelle Barry: Hey there. Thanks for having me Tom.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Hey Michelle, back in the day, the mom usually got the biggest chunk of visitation or custody with the kids. These days is getting to be more 50/50 between the mother and the father. With that in mind, I got an email question for us. A woman who said, "Hey, we are going to have 50/50 custody of the children. Will I have to pay child support?" How is child support determined when the mom and dad literally have the kids 50% of the times each.

Attorney Michelle Barry: Actually, that's a really great question, Tom, because 50/50 time sharing is becoming more of the norm. But child support is based on not just time sharing, it's also based on the incomes of the parties. In a perfect world is mom and dad both made the same amount of money each and they each had the children half the time each. There would be no child support going back and forth.

But if you have one parent who is making a significant amount of income higher than the other then that parent is going to be paying some child support to the other parent, just to sort of equalize out the situation, living experience with a child at both households.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Hey, if they get 50/50, does it mean that the children are from one place from Sunday through Wednesday and another place from Thursday through Saturday? Or does it mean mom's got them two weeks and dad's got them for two weeks?

Attorney Michelle Barry: Actually, the beauty of the system is that the parents can be very flexible with that. It's always governed by what is in the best interest of the child or the children. Generally, if you've got a child who's before school age, you're not even in the BBK or kindergarten yet, you could have rolling weeks of time sharing where the child is with dad one week and mom the next week.

The other situation could be if once the child's in school, hopefully the parents live close together. Then the child could say, they know there was mom and dad every Monday, Tuesday. They know that it was dad every Wednesday, Thursday. They know they're with the parent that they weren't with the previous weekend, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, that weekend. That way again, it's based on what the child knows. That child knows every Monday I'm staying the night over at mom's house. Every Wednesday I'm staying the night over at dad's house. Or it could be arranged any number of ways that best suites both the children's school schedule and of course parent's work schedule.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Awesome, Michelle. Well, tell our listeners how they can reach you.

Attorney Michelle Barry: They can reach me at 407-622-4529. That's my office number. Or the best way to reach me is at my email address at because my website is

Attorney Tom Olsen: Thank you, Michelle. We appreciate it. That's Attorney Michelle Barry. She's a family law attorney right here in Central Florida. If you want to reach her at her office, you can call her at 407-622-4529. Her website is That's B-A-R-R-Y.