How is child support determined?

If the parties. combined income is less than $240,000 per year, child support is determined based on the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines. There are generally four numbers that are needed to calculate child support:

  1. Mother.s gross monthly income;
  2. Father.s gross monthly income;
  3. Children.s portion of the monthly health insurance premium; and
  4. Work-related child care costs. If either parent has other children in their home or for which he or she pays child support, those numbers are included in the calculation as well. There are different worksheets used in the calculation depending on the custodial arrangement. The Guidelines and the worksheets are available at the Clerk of Court.

When does child support terminate?

Child support generally terminate when a child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later. If the child turns 18 before graduation, child support continues until graduation. If the child graduates before turning 18, child support continues until the child turns 18. Child support may terminate earlier or extend later but only in certain rare circumstances.

What happens if I don’t pay?

You can be held in contempt or prosecuted for failure to support. You can be put in jail. Your driver.s license and other licenses can be suspended. Your tax refunds can be intercepted. The courts have a host of options to enforce child support orders.

Can child support be changed?

Yes. Either parent may seek a change (increase or decrease) in child support at any time if a substantial change in circumstances has occurred after the order was entered by the court. A substantial change in circumstances is presumed by the court if the request to change the support order is made three or four years after the entry of the order and there is 15% differential between the amount of support being paid and the amount of support that would be required with new calculations under the Guidelines.

What child support & visitation disputes?

Generally, the care and support of his or her children are a parents primary concern. When disputes about custody, visitation, or child support arise in the context of a separation or divorce, they can be particularly difficult for parents. When parents cannot agree about custody, visitation, or child support, the children suffer as well. Children detect conflict between parents. Children often imagine that they are the cause of the conflict. Children want to please both parents and feel caught in the middle.

The most important thing to remember in a separation is that children take their cues from their parents. If a child.s parents are hostile and bitter, the child will be hostile and bitter. If a child.s parents are civil and respectful to each other, the child will adjust to the separation. Parents must make it clear to children that they are not the cause of the separation. Children need to know that they are loved by both of their parents and are free to love both of their parents. Parents should never fight, argue, or speak ugly to each other in the presence of their children. Each parent needs to encourage his or her child.s relationship with the other parent. Parents need to insulate children from the adult issues. Parents who are able to put the best interests of the children above their own are much more likely to raise happy, healthy, well-adjusted children.