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"Split" Custody and the payment of Child Support

What is "Split" Custody? 

Split custody refers to a parenting plan or a parenting schedule where each guardian has the majority of parenting time with at least one child. This type of arrangement would impact on the amount of child support payable.

In order to be considered to have the "majority" of parenting time, the custodial parent must have the child in their care for at least 60% of the time.
For "split" custody to apply, the separated spouses must have more than 1 child.

Section 8 of The Federal Child Support Guidelines provides:

Split custody
8 Where each spouse has custody of one or more children, the amount of a child support order is the difference between the amount that each spouse would otherwise pay if a child support order were sought against each of the spouses.


Take the case of where the parties have 2 children. Both parties are declared guardians of the children. Each party would have the primary care (more than 60%) of 1 child.

In such a case, each party's notional child support obligation would be "set-off" against other party's child support obligation.

In this hypothetical scenario, Party A's notional child support obligation is $500.00 per month. Party B's notional child support obligation is $400.00 per month. As an aside, the notional amount of child support would likely be calculated in reference to the Child Support Tables applicable to British Columbia. 
Given the above, the difference between Party A's and Party B's notional child support obligations would be $100.00. This calculation illustrates the principle of "set-off" applicable to this scenario. 

The net result is that Party A would be required to pay Party B the mount of $100.00 per month as child support. 


Incidentally, the "set-off" calculation illustrated above may be applicable to a "shared" care or "shared" custody arrangement, which will be the subject of a further blog post. 

There are also "hybrid" child support scenarios which I intend to discuss in a further blog post. 

Written by
Mark J. Chiu
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