The matters of child custody and support are often difficult for an estranged couple to figure out on their own. However, in an attempt to alleviate some of the complication, the state of North Carolina has set forth its own guidelines regarding child support obligations. The NC Child Support Guidelines are intended to provide a foundation on which to base payments and ensure that a child’s needs are taken care of through agreeable terms.
Under North Carolina law, both parents are legally financially responsible for their children, but only the non-custodial parent will be held accountable to contribute their portion through payments. Even with the NC Child Support Guidelines serving as the groundwork, child support orders aren’t always cut-and-dried. This is why many clients turn to Emblem Legal for professional advice and assistance in making sure all paperwork is filled out and officially filed correctly.
It also helps for parents to understand the following key points about the guidelines:
What Factors Are Used to Settle Child Support?
The NC Child Support Guidelines takes different factors into consideration when determining how much child support is deemed a sufficient amount to cover each family’s specific needs. The gross income of both parents will be evaluated, as well as custody arrangements and estimated costs related to education, healthcare, and everyday essentials. Depending on the circumstances of a particular family, other elements can factor into the support order also.
How is Child Support Calculated?
The first thing that the NC Child Support Guidelines looks at to calculate child support payments is the parents’ income. This may include taking into account a parent’s earning capacity if they are believed to be unemployed or underemployed. The guidelines will not apply to a family that makes more than $300,000 a year. Using the formula introduced by the NC Child Support Guidelines, parents will fill out the appropriate worksheet pertaining to their type of family situation. The information provided will produce an estimated amount for support, which must then go to the courts for final approval of an amount.
Can Payment Calculations Be Modified?
Since the court ultimately rules on what the support payments should be, there is a chance for the amount calculated by the NC Child Support Guidelines to be amended. If there is concern about a child’s needs being met or a parent’s ability to pay a certain amount, parents can either request to have a hearing with a judge to go over why they feel the amount is unreasonable or a judge may decide to call a hearing themselves after reviewing all of the details presented in the paperwork. Once a judgment has been made, it will require a different process to have child support payments modified in any way in the future.
Emblem Legal’s NC Child Support Guidelines
Emblem Legal has a well-established history of helping clients navigate through all types of family law cases, including child support. Our attorneys have extensive knowledge about the NC Child Support Guidelines and will provide effective counsel to make sure a fair and reasonable child support agreement is reached.