While custody and child support are two separate issues that the court must decide, there is still some overlap. According to the Code of Virginia, the court must consider the amount of parenting time when determining child support obligations. When it comes to shared parenting, the impact of how much you have the children can greatly reduce your child support obligation.

You need to have a court order for shared custody that gives you the children for at least 90 days a year. The court will then figure child support according to how often each of you has the children. You will usually pay less when you have a shared parenting arrangement than you would if the other parent has sole custody.

The basic calculation

The court will determine how many days you each have the children under your custody order. It will then take the number of days you each have the children to create a ratio. The ratio then applies to child support. For example, if you have the children for 50% of the time, then the child support ratio will be 50/50.

What you owe

To determine what you owe, the court will figure the amount of child support using general guidelines to come up with what each parent would owe. Then, it applies the ratio to reduce the amount owed by each parent and will subtract the amounts from each other to get a child support payment amount. Whoever owes the higher amount will pay support to the other parent. Support payments will also include any costs for child care and healthcare that the other parent must pay.