Child support, days/nights

I think for your situation, if your ex will not agree to an amount, you will want a judge to hear it. I suggest just basing it on average and don’t worry about being exact on the number of overnights. Put that amount in an agreement. If the ex wants to push things so that it does end up in court, then quit letting her pick up the child right before bedtime. You want to try to do what you can to keep it out of court,but it sounds to me as though you are being too accomodating to the ex and she’s taking advantage of that.
I’m not certain what type of custody you are interested in but my suggestion would be joint custody with equal time. This way she stays the same amount of time with each parent. If the ex works erratic schedules then suggest a set schedule and adapt if needed. Switch days if necessary but make sure that the time frame is set. This means the child is with that parent from whenever they are picked up until school starts the next morning (during school the child is in the custody of the school) or if not school age or during summer, then it would be a designated time that the other parent picks the child up. Even with joint custody you could still pay some in child support but this way the whole responsibility is not on one parent.


Thanks for your response. I have posted another thread about 50/50 custody given my situation. I would greatly appreciate anything you have to add there as well.

Anyone else able to comment on the “one night vs. two days” issue?


Unfortunately the child support guidelines are based solely on the number of overnights. You could file a notice to deviate from the guidelines based on the circumstances you described and ask the cour to set an alternate amount of child support, however that is not the most likely outcome.

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I have been using the Child Support Calculator and other info on to educate myself on how a court might determine monthly child support payments given my situation.

My issue with the calculator is that it is heavily based on “nights” my daughter spends with myself (father) vs. her mother. In my situation, our daughter would be spending essentially 2 entire days with me, but the mother wishes to pick our daughter up exactly at our daughter’s bedtime in order to “not be separated from her for so long.” She wishes for the child support payment to reflect that I had her for only one night since she would be picking our daughter up right before the second night would take place.

That would take place weekly, and there are other nights of the month (when the mother occasionally works both weekend days) in addition to that weekly occurrence.

Given that I am willing to work with the mother’s constantly changing weekly schedule (it is rarely the same from week to week). I feel that this is clearly taking advantage of the “nights spent” input in the child support calculation. It doesn’t cost anything for our daughter to be asleep. It’s the cost of her care for the 2 entire days of her waking hours that I’m seeing.

We are in the process of trying to work this out on our own before truley going legal with it and involving attourneys, mediator, etc…

My question is this: were it to go to a mediator and/or judge, are they likely to be sympathetic to the fact that I will be providing support for 2 entire days (weekly) and take that into account in their calculation?