Parenting Arrangements: How Do They Effect the Amount of Child Support?

Parenting Arrangements: How Do They Effect the Amount of Child Support?

It is well known that parents have an obligation to provide support for their children as long as they are under the age of 19 or continue to be dependent on their parents.  However, it can get confusing determining which parent owes support, particularly when the children are spending time with both parents. Child support is determined based on the parenting arrangements chosen by the parties or ordered by the court.

There are a few different parenting arrangements:

1.Primary Residence: If a child resides primarily with one parent for at least 60% of the time (or more) the other parent is obligated to pay child support in accordance with the Federal Child Support Guidelines (the “Guidelines”).

2.Split Custody: A split custody arrangement exists if one child resides primarily with one parent while the other child resides primarily with the other parent (or a different combination of the above based upon the number of children).  In the event of a split custody arrangement, child support is calculated as a set-off between the amounts each parent would pay the other.  

3.Shared Custody: A shared custody arrangement is when a child divides their time between the parents’ homes, spending less than 60% of their time with one parent and more than 40% of their time with the other parent. In the case of a shared custody arrangement, the court will first use the set-off approach, but then evaluate the results of a set-off approach to determine whether the Guidelines should be followed or if a different arrangement should be set.  The court evaluates the set-off approach by considering the amount each parent would pay under the Guidelines, the increased time of the parenting arrangement on either parent, and the means of the parents and needs of the children. The court will also consider any differences in the children’s lifestyles between the parents’ houses. So in the case of a shared custody arrangement, the final support arrangement will depend on the circumstances of the parties.

The parenting arrangement implemented post separation or divorce determines who will be responsible for paying child support. As a result, child support arrangements will vary based on the parenting schedule set and if the parenting arrangement changes, then the support obligations will adjust as well.

At Hart Legal, our team of family law lawyers are trained in family law matters dealing with children. If you have questions about the proper child support arrangement based on your parenting schedule, contact one of our best family law lawyers at Hart Legal for a free consultation. We offer family law legal services in VictoriaMetro VancouverWhistler, and Kelowna, British Columbia. Our family law lawyers have experience advising clients on setting up child support in accordance with parenting plans, and also varying or changing parenting plans or child support. We offer free consultations for anyone looking to implement or change a parenting arrangement. Text us 778-760-1717(BC) or email us at, to schedule your free family law consultation with one of our best family law lawyers.

Want to learn about adoptions in BC? Check out our last blog!

*HART Legal has additional offices in California operated by a separate law corporation.