If I agree to joint custody of my kids, does it mean there is no child support?

No. Many people mistakenly think that joint custody means no child support. This comes down to a basic misunderstanding of what joint custody means and who is entitled to child support. 

Joint custody in Illinios means that the parents jointly make the major decisions about the children, such as healthcare, religion and education.  It has nothing to do with where the children live which is otherwise known as residential custody. It is very common for one parent to have residential custody (giving the other parent a visitation schedule) and for those parties to have joint custody with regards to each having a say in decisions. When this is understood, it doesn't make sense to link joint custody to child support. 
Child support is typically paid by the non-residential parent to the parent that the chidren live with.  Rarely, divorcing parents will agree to share residential custody whereby the chld or children actually live with each parent in an equal amount of time. In those cases, a court may do what is called "reserve" the issue of child support whereby no child support is ordered as part of the divorce decree.

Divorce terminology is tricky. Many people think they know what something means but really don't - or if they do, they don't understand fully what is involved. If you are in a divorce situation you should know what your rights and obligations are both as a parent and as a soon to be ex-spouse. Be sure to request a free copy of our divorce book or schedule a time to come talk to a divorce attorney in either Scahumburg or Itasca. Give us a call at 630 250-8813.


Carol O'Connor Cadiz
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Attorney & Owner at O'Connor Cadiz Law: Bankruptcy, Injury, Real Estate & Mediation