Officially released April 9, 2019.
In short: child support deviation for shared custody is discretionary and not subject to formulaic presumption in the manner of split custody.
The parties were divorced by separation agreement in 2016. Under the terms of separation Husband was ordered to pay child support of $298 per week and the parties were to have a shared parenting plan. Subsequently, Wife’s net weekly income increased from $674 to $1,000. Husband filed a motion to modify the support order based on a substantial change in circumstances. The trial court held an evidentiary hearing and reduced Husband’s obligation to $225 per week, including a 14.77% downward deviation for shared parenting.
Husband appealed arguing that the child support was improperly calculated and not supported by the child support guidelines, financial affidavits or testimony. Husband specifically argued that Wife’s obligation under the guidelines should have been subtracted from his obligation under the guidelines to reach the appropriate deviation. The Appellate Court reviewed under the abuse of discretion standard. The Appellate Court noted that Husband’s formula applies to split custody not shared custody. It further noted that there was evidence that, notwithstanding equal parenting time, Wife provided for a greater amount of the child’s expenses.
The Judgment was affirmed.