Is Child Support Necessary When Parents Share Custody?

child supportQuestion:

Is child support always required even when parents share physical custody?

Is there any scenario where the father provides financial support for the child while in his care and the mother does the same while with her? That way each parent is responsible for their share and never has to pay the other.


While I am not licensed to practice law in your state and cannot give you legal advice, I can give some general observations on this issue based on the jurisdiction where I practice.

Where I practice in Pennsylvania, the obligation of one parent to pay child support to the other parent is mandated by law and the amount mostly depends on the parties’ respective incomes (or an earning capacity assigned by the court if they do not work).

Philadelphia divorce attorney William Phelan
Philadelphia divorce attorney William Phelan

Moreover, whether a party is due child support (as well as how much child support should be given) depends, in part, on the custody arrangement and amount of time the parties respectively have with their child.

Therefore, even if the parents have shared physical custody of the children (and even if the custody arrangement affords both parents equal time with the child), one parent still may be obliged to pay the other parent child support because he earns more income than the other parent.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your jurisdiction to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Pennsylvania divorce lawyer William J. Phelan, IV, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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Shawn Garrison is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell & Cordell UK. He has written countless pieces dealing with the unique child custody and divorce issues that men and fathers face. Through his work on,, and, Mr. Garrison has become an authority on the complexities of the legal experience and was a content creator for the YouTube series “Dad’s Divorce Live” and additional videos on both the Dad’s Divorce and Cordell & Cordell YouTube channels. Mr. Garrison has managed the sites of these customers, and fostered the creation of several of their features, including the Cordell & Cordell attorney and office pages, the Dad’s Divorce Newsletter, and the Cordell & Cordell newsletter.

2 comments on “Is Child Support Necessary When Parents Share Custody?

    i think the guidelines are fine and there area a lot of deadbeats who just don’t want to pay say they will do their time with children and meanwhile they do nothing

    We are not married in California but we had a baby and I want the court to help us with our coustady. I have been the one working and paying for moist she has stamps for food. I don’t make much I work us a bouncer in a bar five ddays a week
    How much the court will ask from me to pay for child support?

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