When judges in North Carolina set out to determine child support amounts, they will use a complex formula to make the calculations. The final amount will ultimately be based on the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines. As a parent in search of answers, you’ll find an abundance of information about those guidelines on the web—maybe a little more than you bargained for, in fact. If you’d like to keep things succinct, here’s a brief overview of the factors used to calculate child support in North Carolina.
What’s Included in the Support Order
Your child support order can include financial aid for a wide range of expenses. In addition to basic support funds for food, clothing, and shelter, your order might also involve money for health insurance, basic educational expenses, child care expenses, certain medical expenses, visitation travel costs, and extracurricular activities.
Income Shares Model
Because the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines use an “income shares model,” they view the concept of child support as something both parents share. That means according to the guidelines, children must receive the same proportion of financial support they would receive if both parents still lived together. For these reasons, both parents are considered to be responsible for child support.
Main Factors of a Support Order
There are several factors involved in calculating child support in North Carolina, but these are among the most significant:
Some additional factors will also be considered in the child support calculations:
Failure to Pay
If either parent misses one or more child support payments, the other parent can petition the court to force the non-paying parent to pay using several tactics. For instance, the court might withhold income from that parent’s wages or benefits, place liens on their property, garnish their tax refunds, and even impose criminal penalties. If you are unable to make your child support payments, it’s best to pursue a court order modification to change the original child support order.
There’s a lot to keep in mind about North Carolina’s child support laws, but the friendly attorneys at Easterling Law can simplify the process for you. Give us a call to discuss your options with a knowledgeable family lawyer. Whether you need assistance creating a child support order, enforcing an existing order, or modifying an order, we would be happy to lend a hand.