Most states, including Kansas, Missouri and Texas, have two primary types of child custody: joint custody and sole custody.
In joint custody, both parents are entitled to a voice in making decisions about the child’s residence, religious training, medical treatment, education and similar major decisions.
In sole custody, the parent who has been awarded custody makes all decisions, although parental decisions are always subject to court review.
Residency variations are another matter. In most states, parents can select (with the court’s approval) from several different residential arrangements that have an impact on child support obligations.
Primary residence: The Court may designate one parent as the “primary residential parent,” in which case the other parent (the “non-primary residential parent”) has “parenting time” with the child as ordered by the Court.
Equal parenting time: When parents share a child’s time equally (or “nearly equally”), an adjustment is available to reflect the cost-savings realized by the “primary” residential parent when the child is with the other parent. The court designates which parent will pay the child’s “direct expenses.”
Shared expense agreement: When parents enter into a written agreement that provides for the equal sharing of their child’s time, and the equal sharing or allocation of the child’s direct expenses, the support obligation of each parent is separately calculated. The difference is then divided by two with the higher-obligation parent paying one-half of the difference to the other parent.
Divided custody (also called “Split custody”): In families with several children, where some (but not all) of the children live with one parent, and the rest live with the other, a child support calculation is made with respect to the children in each household. The child obligation of one parent is then compared with the obligation of the other, and the difference is paid by the higher-obligated parent to the other.
[Note: The statements and information in this blog are necessarily general in nature and are not intended as legal advice. Relying on the information in this blog is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship. You should consult a qualified attorney for specific guidance based on your specific circumstances.]