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If I get joint custody; does child support go down? I have 2 kids & I want full or joint custody. Male from Westchester NY.

Mount Vernon, NY |

We split in January and I have been paying ever since. We were never married but have been together for around 10 years. Can I get joint custody & child support goes down? I want full since living with me will give my boys a better way of life & a cleaner home.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Joint custody does not change your child support obligation. Child support is determined based on who has residential custody of the children.

    It is always advisable to contact an attorney. For a consultation, please contact our office at 516-669-3295. We are located in West Babylon, NY and proudly offer very low rates and free consultations. For more information, please see our website: <a href="http://www.LouisLSternbergLaw.com">Long Island Divorce Lawyer Louis Sternberg.</a>


  2. Whichever parent has the children the majority of the time will be the "primary" custodial parent, even if you have "joint" custody. The parent who does not have primary custody pays child support to the parent who does. When deciding child support, the court can consider the amount of time the children spend with each parent. For a more specific answer, consult with a local attorney who can review your entire situation with you in confidential detail. Good luck!

    Ms. Brown may be reached at 718-878-6886 during regular business hours, or anytime by email at: marykatherinebrown@hotmail.com. All of Ms. Brown's responses to questions posted on AVVO are intended as general information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are provided for educational purposes of the public, not any specific individual, and her response to the question above is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Brown is licensed to practice law in New York. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, you must contact an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state.


  3. Physical custody is issue for child support. Joint legal custody is not factor in child support.

    If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or www.mynewyorkcitylawyer.com.


  4. Even if you have shared physical custody as close to a 50:50 split of residential custody with each parent, the parent who has the greater income is deemed to be the "non custodial parent" who is obliged to pay the full amount of child support based on the NYS percentages under the Child Support Standards Act (17% for one child, 25% for two, 29% for three, etc.).

    As to who is custodial parent under a traditional sole physical custody arrangement with the non-custodial parent paying child support, that will be determined by what is in the best interests of the child, including the child's wishes as expressed to the Attorney for the Child, which are taken into account more as the child gets older and into his teenage and high school age years.

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  5. Joint Custody in itself does not create a deviation factor on a child support calculation. Instead, the Court has discretion, depending on numerous factors (but primarily incomes of the respective parties and access time enjoyed by the non-custodial parent) to deviate from the proposed guidelines amount. If you have "full" custody, or even primary custody (meaning the children reside with you 51% or more of the time), then you would pay no child support & indeed should receive child support from the other parent. In any event, I advise you to schedule a free consultation with a Westchester Family Law attorney for a full assessment.

    * If you found my answer to be "HELPFUL," or the "BEST ANSWER," please feel free to mark it accordingly.

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