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Attorney at Law

Child Support in Shared Custody Cases

Most child support guidelines present a formula for calculating child support where the parents share custody of the child or children.

Definition of Shared Custody

States such as Minnesota do not require a minimum number of nights to establish shared custody. These states require that the arrangement between the parents constitute sharing the "routine daily care and control and the residence of the child." Even in states which require a minimum number of nights, a parent may argue that the child or children spend 10 weeks during the summer with that parent and as a result, the parent must provide shelter, clothing, food, and other expenses for an extended period of time.

The argument is that this should be considered shared custody. Some states and some judges, but not all, will agree. On the other hand, where a parent is granted shared physical custody, but fails to exercise the rights of custody by failing to take and care for the child or children, many court will not place emphasis on the language of the custody arrangement, but will provide child support based on the true circumstances.

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