CHILD SUPPORT

Once the issues of child custody are resolved, parents often are faced with determining an appropriate amount of child support. Child support deals with the financial obligations each parent has for the care of dependent children, and sometimes includes support for children over the age of 18. Usually, the non-custodial parent is the payor of child support, however that isn’t always the case. Regardless, it is important to keep in mind that child custody and child support in North Carolina are distinctly separate legal issues. 

How is Child Support Determined? 

Child support awards are governed by strict statutory guidelines in North Carolina referred to as the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines provide a specific mathematical approach in considering certain economic factors to determine the “reasonable needs of the child” as well as the “relative ability of the parents”, that include:

  • number of children of the relationship;
  • the amount of time, specifically overnights, each parent spends with each child annually; 
  • each parent’s gross income from all sources; 
  • each parent’s contribution for medical insurance and child care;
  • child support obligations for other children; 
  • the number of children from prior relationships or that a party has a legal obligation for; and 
  • extraordinary expenses (tuition, visitation travel, medical care)

North Carolina has created forms for calculating child support. The guidelines are so specific that a parent’s child support obligation or expectation can be calculated with reasonable certainty in almost every instance. 

Disputes often arise when attempting to determine what numbers are used in the form to calculate a child support obligation.  If a parent intentionally suppresses their income to reduce their obligation, it is possible to have the court inpute potential and more realistic income for them.  In the event that a parent has not paid an obligation prior to the court ordering them it is also possible to seek retroactive support payments for a period of time. 

What is a deviation? 

Often the guidelines produce a number that is not appropriate for the support of a child. In these situations a deviation from the use of the guidelines can be requested. Deviations will also be needed if the gross combined income of parents exceed $360,000 per year. When child support is determined upon a deviation of the guidelines, the court will use the actual needs and expenses of the child as well as the ability of the parties to calculate a child support obligation. 

Enforcement of an Order 

If timely payments of child support are not made the Courts have mechanisms in place to enforce the terms of the Order. These will vary depending on the facts involved, but can include payment of attorney fees for the other parent, license suspension, interception of income tax refunds, and a possible jail sentence. Since child support obligations vest once they are due and nonpayment of support comes with serious consequences, if your child support orders needs changing,  it is important to address those issues with an attorney immediately. 

Child Support Articles

CHILD SUPPORT

Child Support Order Modification

It is also important to review of a child support order at least once every three years to ensure it remains current. Guidelines can change, as well as circumstances of the parties and children. A knowledgeable attorney can help you determine if a modification of your child support order is appropriate. 

As with all the issues your minor children, creative resolutions through mediation provide parents an opportunity to create agreements that may be of greater benefit to their children and the function of the family than statutory guidelines may permit. When this solution-oriented and efficient approach to resolving family disputes through negotiated settlement is unsuccessful, the family law attorneys at GHMA | LAW are primarily trial lawyers.

Patrick McCroskey and Janet Amburgey are both board-certified specialists in family law and have years of experience in child support matters. Their knowledge provides them with an opportunity to provide you with all the options available, even in complex matters to ensure a fair amount child support is awarded. If you need a child support order established, modified, or enforced we can help. Call us today to find the right solution for your children at 828-258-3368.  

 

SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION

I Need Help With:
Image of small child with hands, palms face down, in the hands of an adult, depicting child support

CHILD SUPPORT

Once the issues of child custody are resolved, parents often are faced with determining an appropriate amount of child support. Child support deals with the financial obligations each parent has for the care of dependent children, and sometimes includes support for children over the age of 18. Usually, the non-custodial parent is the payor of child support, however that isn’t always the case. Regardless, it is important to keep in mind that child custody and child support in North Carolina are distinctly separate legal issues. 

How is Child Support Determined? 

Child support awards are governed by strict statutory guidelines in North Carolina referred to as the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines provide a specific mathematical approach in considering certain economic factors to determine the “reasonable needs of the child” as well as the “relative ability of the parents”, that include:

  • number of children of the relationship;
  • the amount of time, specifically overnights, each parent spends with each child annually; 
  • each parent’s gross income from all sources; 
  • each parent’s contribution for medical insurance and child care;
  • child support obligations for other children; 
  • the number of children from prior relationships or that a party has a legal obligation for; and 
  • extraordinary expenses (tuition, visitation travel, medical care)

North Carolina has created forms for calculating child support. The guidelines are so specific that a parent’s child support obligation or expectation can be calculated with reasonable certainty in almost every instance. 

Disputes often arise when attempting to determine what numbers are used in the form to calculate a child support obligation.  If a parent intentionally suppresses their income to reduce their obligation, it is possible to have the court inpute potential and more realistic income for them.  In the event that a parent has not paid an obligation prior to the court ordering them it is also possible to seek retroactive support payments for a period of time. 

What is a deviation? 

Often the guidelines produce a number that is not appropriate for the support of a child. In these situations a deviation from the use of the guidelines can be requested. Deviations will also be needed if the gross combined income of parents exceed $360,000 per year. When child support is determined upon a deviation of the guidelines, the court will use the actual needs and expenses of the child as well as the ability of the parties to calculate a child support obligation. 

Enforcement of an Order 

If timely payments of child support are not made the Courts have mechanisms in place to enforce the terms of the Order. These will vary depending on the facts involved, but can include payment of attorney fees for the other parent, license suspension, interception of income tax refunds, and a possible jail sentence. Since child support obligations vest once they are due and nonpayment of support comes with serious consequences, if your child support orders needs changing,  it is important to address those issues with an attorney immediately. 

Child Support Order Modification

It is also important to review of a child support order at least once every three years to ensure it remains current. Guidelines can change, as well as circumstances of the parties and children. A knowledgeable attorney can help you determine if a modification of your child support order is appropriate. 

As with all the issues your minor children, creative resolutions through mediation provide parents an opportunity to create agreements that may be of greater benefit to their children and the function of the family than statutory guidelines may permit. When this solution-oriented and efficient approach to resolving family disputes through negotiated settlement is unsuccessful, the family law attorneys at GHMA | LAW are primarily trial lawyers.

Patrick McCroskey and Janet Amburgey are both board-certified specialists in family law and have years of experience in child support matters. Their knowledge provides them with an opportunity to provide you with all the options available, even in complex matters to ensure a fair amount child support is awarded. If you need a child support order established, modified, or enforced we can help. Call us today to find the right solution for your children at 828-258-3368.  

Family Law Services

This is a graphic image of GHMA LAW's Logo Icon

Lawyers

Child Support Articles

I Need Help With:

Common Questions & Concerns

We will do everything possible to structure your case so that you may obtain the best legal result. Punishing your spouse or winning an all-out, no holds-barred victory, however, is an unrealistic and unattainable goal. Your attorney's job is to represent your best interests, and to achieve the best resolution for you. His job is not to serve as your avenger. He cannot give you retribution for the sins of your spouse. If you enter this process expecting revenge and retribution, you will be sorely disappointed and unhappy with your attorney, yourself, and the outcome of your case, no matter how favorable that outcome may be to you. Before beginning the attorney-client relationship, you should make every effort to put your priorities in order, and realize that there are some things the legal system cannot provide.

Most people share the same fears, questions, and beliefs about divorce. The following are some of the most common of these fears, questions and beliefs.

Click on the titles below to toggle on and off pertinent information.