WHY CHILD SUPPORT
IS SO IMPORTANT
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 44% of custodial parents receive the full amount of child support. Any subject surrounding money in a divorce can cause stress and unease. Nevertheless, if children are involved, one money-related matter that parents must carefully consider is what to do about child support.
Child support is often a crucial issue to address in a divorce between parents. Who will make the payments, how that parent will pay, and how those payments are used are just a few matters that must be worked out. Unfortunately, making decisions on those matters alone isn't always very simple when tension between co-parents is high.
Our team brings an unparalleled depth of knowledge to your legal needs and provides strategy about the best way to move forward with your case and reduce the stress and anxiety during the process.
PROTECTING YOUR INTERESTS IN CHILD SUPPORT MATTERS
We work closely with men and women in child support matters, reviewing proposed support orders for compliance with North Carolina guidelines as well as considering whether deviation from the guidelines may be appropriate. In addition to establishing child support, we will also help you with requests for the modification or enforcement of existing orders and agreements.
Usually, when people think about child support, they think about the amount of money they receive each month or the amount of money that is taken out of their check every week. But, in North Carolina, child support actually consists of three separate parts. It’s worth taking a moment to think about each part individually because of the way each category can impact the total child support obligation:
Basic Support is what most people think of when they think of child support. It is the amount of money that must be paid each month to provide for the day-to-day support of the child. It is intended to cover things like food, shelter, clothing, and living expenses.
Heath Insurance and Health Care Costs are considered to ensure that children have access to appropriate medical insurance and dental insurance coverage. The costs of any insurance premiums and, in some cases, out-of-pocket medical expenses (like co-pays, deductibles, and uninsured treatments) are divided between the parties in proportion to their income.
Child Care Costs are the third consideration in the total amount of support. The law recognizes that working parents of young children often incur substantial daycare costs which, if not separately accounted for, could easily total more than the basic support amount. Like medical support, the child care costs are apportioned between the parties based on their share of the income.
CALCULATING CHILD SUPPORT
The gross monthly income of both parents is used when calculating the child support amount. It is used (along with the number of children) to determine the parents’ combined child support obligation. North Carolina uses a Child Support Guideline to determine the basic support obligation. This combined support obligation is then divided between the parents according to their percentage of the gross income.
For example, if parent “A” were to earn $6,000 per month and parent “B” were to earn $4,000 per month, the gross income would be $10,000. Assuming a combined basic support obligation of $1,600 per month, parent “A” would be responsible for sixty percent (or $960) and parent “B” would be responsible for forty percent (or $640). Medical support and child care support would be additional costs that would also need to be calculated.
In child support cases involving primary physical custody, a child support obligation is calculated for both parents but the court enters an order requiring the parent who does not have primary physical custody of the child to pay child support to the parent who has primary physical custody of the child. Please understand, however, that every situation is different. Please contact Lundell Law Firm for more information.
Speak with a child custody attorney today about your child support questions. If you are considering separation or divorce, it is wise to seek early legal advise from an experienced Union County attorney who can assist you in understanding the many issues surrounding the divorce process. Likewise, if you and your child’s other parent are no longer together, it is important to understand your rights and obligations for the support of your child.
CHILD SUPPORT MODIFICATIONS
Steps on Child Support Modifications
You can get you child support modified. Child support orders can be modified after three years, or if there has been a “substantial change in circumstances.” A difference of 15% or more of the child support paid under an existing order and the amount of child support resulting from the application of the guidelines based on the parents’ current income and circumstances is presumed to be a substantial change in circumstance.
The first step with modifying child support is to work with a qualified attorney to complete the necessary paperwork. The judge will hold a hearing on the motion to modify. You should be prepared to provide documentation that justifies your request to modify the child support order.
If you have lost your job, you may file a Motion to Modify. A judge will determine how your unemployment impacts the current order of support.
Motion for Relief
If you have a child support order and then discover that you are not the biological father of the child, you can file a Motion for Relief within one year of discovering that you are not the father.
Call at (704)288-4096 or email consult@LundellLawFirm.com to set-up an initial consultation to discuss your situation with a knowledgeable Union County family law attorney, contact the Monroe, NC, office of Lundell Law Firm.