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If Child Support Is Set By Statute, Why Do I Need A Lawyer?

| Jul 29, 2019 | Child Support

Determining child support in North Carolina can be complicated, and multiple factors are considered in the process. Further, the court has some discretion in determining the amount of child support one parent owes the other, and this discretion is based on what the court considers to be the children’s best interests. In other words, although North Carolina child support payment guidelines are set by statute, there might be much more to this matter than a simple calculation. If you have child support concerns, consult with an experienced Raleigh child support lawyer today.

How Child Support Works in North Carolina

There are a variety of factors that are used to calculate the amount of child support you are owed, including:

  • Each of your incomes
  • The number of shared children being supported
  • Any child support paid by either of you for children outside the marriage
  • Your child custody arrangements

Other factors can also affect the amount of child support ordered by the court. Ultimately,  the court can deviate from the amount calculated via the state guidelines if it determines that the amount isn’t consistent with the children’s individual needs or is unjust or inappropriate in some other manner. Further, in addition to direct child-support payments, the payor may be responsible for contributing to childcare expenses, health insurance premiums, and other expenses.

How Custody Arrangements Factor In

While both parents are naturally responsible for providing for their children, the parent with primary custody is presumed to already be contributing his or her share of this support. As such, the noncustodial parent generally makes child support payments. Child support is closely tied to custody arrangements and the number of overnights each parent has with the children each year, as follows:

  • If one parent has more than 242 overnights with the children each year, he or she is the custodial parent and the original child support formula is applied.
  • If both parents have at least 123 overnights with the children each year, another formula that factors in the ratio of each parent’s income to the number of overnights with the children is applied.

Extenuating Circumstances

While child support is generally calculated according to state guidelines, there are exceptions, including for couples with high assets and for couples who have a child with special needs. Finally, there are additional factors that can play a significant role in the process of determining child support, including:

  • The custodial parent’s need for the family home as a means of housing the children
  • The noncustodial parent’s ability to pay child support
  • The noncustodial parent’s need to be awarded legal fees

All told, ensuring that you obtain the amount of child support to which you are entitled is complicated.

If You Have Child-Support Concerns, Consult with an Experienced Raleigh Child Support Lawyer Today

Obtaining the child support to which you are entitled is critical to your ability to adequately provide for your children. Daphne Edwards at Daphne Edwards Divorce & Family Law in Raleigh, North Carolina, has the experience, skill, and compassion to help you. For more information, please contact us online or call us at 919-891-8552 today.