Are you paying child support? You should be aware of how child support is calculated and how certain activities or payments can impact your weekly support order. As a payor or a payee you can get credits for amounts paid for insurance, other support obligations, other children that you have a legal duty to support, etc. One area that really can impact a child support order is the parenting time credit.
The parenting time credit is aimed at eliminating what the Child Support Guidelines refers to as duplicate expenses:
Duplicated Fixed Expenses.This type of expense is incurred when two households are maintained for the child(ren). An example of this type of expense is shelter costs which are not transferred when the child(ren) move(s) from one parent’s residence to the other but remain fixed in each parent’s household and represent duplicated expenditures. The fixed expense of the parent who has primary physical custody is included in the Guideline support schedules. However, the fixed expense of the other parent is not included in the support schedules but represents an increase in the total cost of raising the child(ren) attributed to the parenting time plan. Both parents should share in these additional costs.
When parents equally share in the parenting, an assumption is made that 50% of the Basic Child Support Obligation will be “duplicated." When the child(ren) spend(s) less time with one parent, the percentage of duplicated expenses will decline.
The general idea is that the credit will help offset some of the duplicated expenses that the non-custodial parent will have when the child is spending overnights. The key is to determine the actual number of overnights that will occur:
The Parenting Time Credit is earned by performing parental obligations as scheduled and is an advancement of weekly credit. The granting of the credit is based on the expectation the parties will comply with a parenting time order.
Essentially, you cannot take the credit and then no longer have overnight visits occur. To get the credit you need to have the actual overnight visits.