The pain of divorce is something too many people know. According to the CDC’s report, approximately 689,308 divorces happened in the 45 states and D.C. That’s a lot of families splitting up.
In places like Colorado, the numbers show how this problem continues to go up and down. In 2001, the rate was 8.2; it went down to 6.7 in 2020 and then up again to 7.4 in 2021.
This reality paints a pretty sad picture of broken families. But when a family breaks apart, what happens to the kids? And what about the Dads? In fact, there are several big questions about how to take care of the kids together but apart.
Parents need to understand that during divorce, it’s not just about who pays for what or when the kids visit each parent. It’s about healing hearts and ensuring the kids feel safe and loved.
Undoubtedly, this is a tough road. But, for Dads like yourself, understanding how shared custody and child support work is a big first step. That’s what we will discuss in this article. So, let’s begin!
What is Shared Custody?
Shared custody, often referred to as joint custody, means that both parents share significant periods of physical custody of the child. After all, even if you’re not together anymore, you both are still Mom and Dad and play a big part in your kid’s life.
Shared custody allows you to spend quality time with your kids and help them grow with love and support. But remember, it’s not always a perfect half-and-half split. The time might be divided differently, depending on what everyone agrees on or what a court decides.
Now that you are clear about child custody, let’s discuss a common myth.
The Misconception: Shared Custody Equals No Child Support
Did you know that many people believe that if they spend more time with their children, they don’t have to pay child support? But the truth is more complicated.
No matter who spends how much time with kids, child support is still needed. It’s because child support ensures that kids continue to receive the care, comfort, and lifestyle they deserve.
This means covering basic needs like food, clothing, and shelter. But it goes beyond that. It also ensures they have access to good education, medical care, extracurricular activities, and even simple pleasures like birthday gifts or trips to the movies.
In some states it takes into account things like how much money each parent makes and the expenses for the child. So, even if you see your child half the time, you might still need to help with costs. Or the other way around.
Calculating Child Support in Shared Custody Situations
Oftentimes, when shared custody is in play, child support calculations can become more complex. Moreover, it tends to vary from state to state. To avoid complications, in this article, we’ll learn about calculating child support if you reside in Colorado.
Firstly, it’s crucial to understand that the state uses a formula to figure out child support amounts. This formula considers both parents’ incomes, the number of overnights the child spends with each parent, and other expenses related to the child.
But don’t worry; you don’t have to be a math expert to figure it out. Instead, your child support attorney can be your Colorado child support calculator And help you get an idea of what the amount might be. Your lawyer can also build a case to ensure the child support arrangement is fair and accounts for all relevant factors.
Apart from this, unexpected medical expenses like special education needs or even costs related to extracurricular activities can impact the child support amount. These aren’t always straightforward but are essential for your child’s growth and well-being. So, when determining the cost, you must take into account all this.
Your Rights as a Father
Being a Dad is one of the most important roles you’ll ever have. Even if you’re not living with your child full-time, you have rights that should be respected. It’s easy to feel lost or pushed out when it comes to decisions about your child. But remember, you have a voice.
First, you can ask to spend time with your child. Courts usually want kids to have both parents in their lives. Second, if you think the money you pay or receive for child support isn’t fair, you can speak up. For this, it would be best to work with a reputed attorney and also make sure to have all your paperwork ready.
Dealing with child support and custody is often overwhelming for dads. But by understanding your rights and focusing on your child’s needs, you can find your way. Remember, it’s all about creating the best environment for your child. So, keep this guide in mind and connect with a lawyer to provide your kids a safe and loving future.
What would you add?
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