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Split Custody & Child Support
As is further discussed in our article concerning split custody parenting arrangements, according to Georgia law, split parenting or split custody may “occur in a child support case only if there are two or more children of the same parents, where one parent is the custodial parent for at least one child of the parents, and the other parent is the custodial parent for at least one other child of the parents." In a split parenting case, each parent is the custodial parent of any child spending more than 50 percent of the time with that parent and is the noncustodial parent of any child spending more than 50 percent of the time with the other parent. A split parenting situation shall have two custodial parents and two noncustodial parents, but no child shall have more than one custodial parent or noncustodial parent.
O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15 (a)(21). Put plainly, split custody occurs when, for example, when one parent obtains primary physical custody of at least one of the parents’ children, and the other parent obtains primary custody of at least one of the parents’ other children.
Practice Pointer - Does Child Support Cancel Out?
When it comes to calculating child support in spilt parenting cases, many parents mistakenly believe that in such cases, both parents’ child support obligations are “cancelled out” by each other. However, this is not the case. In split custody or split parenting cases, separate child support worksheets must be prepared for each parent, a worksheet for the child or children for whom the father is the custodial parent and one for the child or children for whom the mother is the custodial parent. See O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15(l). Only by preparing two separate child support worksheets may an accurate child support amount for each parent be ascertained.