Both of the parents of a child in North Carolina, regardless of whether they are married, separated, divorced, or single, are responsible for supporting their children. In the state of North Carolina, as in most other states in the US, there are particular rules and regulations regarding paying child support. Calculating payment amounts, answering questions regarding child support liability, and other issues surrounding the complex topic of child support in Charlotte NC is best accomplished with the help of a child support lawyer in North Carolina.
If you are separating or divorcing a spouse, you may be working on a mutually amicable agreement for child support with your former spouse. This is allowed, with the caveat that even mutually agreed upon arrangements must be approved by the court, and must meet the minimum guidelines of North Carolina state law for child support payments. If this seems unfair, remember that child support payments are the property of the child, not the parents. Even though you and your former spouse may come to an agreement that works for you, it is the job of the courts to ensure that the needs of the child are met.
If you have questions about child support liability in Charlotte, NC, contact the family lawyers at Remington & Dixon right away, and we will be happy to answer all of the questions you may have.
Calculating the Amount and Liability of Child Support Payments in Charlotte, NC
In a divorce, in most cases, the non-custodial parent will be the one responsible for paying child support in Charlotte, NC.
The state of North Carolina has a series of guidelines regarding child support liabilities and payment amounts in divorces and for single parents. The State of North Carolina calculates a base amount of child support liability by using a percentage of the parties’ combined gross income, allowing for deductions such as work-related child care expenses and health insurance premiums paid for the child. This calculation is typically done with the help of a child support lawyer in Charlotte, NC, and then brought before the court to be interpreted and approved. As a part of this process, both parents will be required to fill out a financial affidavit so that the court has as complete a picture of the child’s financial situation.
Paying Child Support with No Income in North Carolina
As mentioned, child support liability in North Carolina is determined based on the parties’ combined gross income. However, refusing to work to that your income becomes zero is not a valid strategy for getting out of child support liability – and it probably isn’t a good choice for keeping yourself housed and fed, either. The court in North Carolina will most likely impute a gross income based upon your income-earning ability and will determine a child support amount based upon those figures. In general, if you can work, it is beneficial to be working when your child support amounts are considered by the court in North Carolina.
Exceptions to the Rules Regarding Child Support Payments in North Carolina
There is a presumption under the law that the amounts calculated in the standard child support formula for the state of North Carolina are appropriate. However, in certain situations, a judge may determine that these amounts are not appropriate for a given situation, or are inadequate for the needs of the child. There are a number of factors which may be considered by the court to make these decisions, including non-standard custody arrangements.
With the assistance of an experienced Charlotte child support lawyer, you may be able to argue that the existing guidelines are not appropriate for your situation. For instance, if you and the other parent have substantially high incomes or the child has special needs and expenses, then this can be a reason to deviate from the existing guidelines. Anytime a judge alters the standard guidelines for payments of child support, the reasons for doing so must be recorded in writing.
Consult with a North Carolina Child Support Lawyer Today
If you are in the process of divorcing or are a single parent who needs to pay — or collect — child support, contact a family law attorney at Remington & Dixon today, and let us help.
Jennifer is a founding partner at Remington & Dixon, PLLC. Jennifer concentrates her practice in the areas of family law, wills & estates, unemployment benefits appeals, and traffic. At Elon University School of Law, Jennifer was the vice president of the Public Interest Law Society and a member of the Family Law Society. During law school, Jennifer interned at the Elon University School of Law Field Placement Clinic with Legal Aid of North Carolina where she represented clients in domestic violence court proceedings.