Child Support

Child Support Attorneys in Wake County

Helping Raleigh Parents Create Child Support Payment Plans

In North Carolina, child support obligations are determined under the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines. The guidelines were created to set forth uniform statewide guidelines to determine the child support obligations of both parents. They are based on the principles that child support is a shared responsibility of both parents, and a child should receive support in the event of a divorce in the same manner as he would receive it if the parents continued to live together. 

The guidelines are applied as a rebuttable presumption, meaning that they presumptively dictate the amount of money the courts consider a reasonable monthly amount to be paid by each parent. Payments are ordered in an amount to meet the reasonable needs of the child for health, education, and maintenance, taking into account the estates, earnings, conditions, accustomed standard of living, the childcare and homemaker contributions of each party, and other facts of the case. 

For information regarding your unique situation, call us at (919) 838-7160 or complete our online form

Child Support Worksheets

The guidelines determine the number of support payments based on the parties’ gross income, taking into account other factors.

These factors can include:

  • work-related childcare costs
  • health insurance premiums paid for the child
  • other expenses

There are three worksheets parents can choose to work off to determine a parent’s presumptive support obligation. On the worksheets, the parties provide their gross income and as well as certain living expenses. 

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Deviation from Child Support Guidelines

The guidelines are not used in every case to determine the amount of child support. In cases in which the parents’ combined gross income exceeds the guideline maximum, the court does not apply the guidelines. A court does not apply the guidelines in cases in which parents have a combined gross monthly income of $25,000 or greater or a gross annual income of $300,000 or greater. In those cases, the courts determine child support amounts based on the reasonable needs of the child, taking into consideration the family’s accustomed standard of living, the income and expenses of the parties, and the parents’ relative ability to pay the support.

In addition, a parent may move the court to deviate upward or downward from the presumptive guidelines and order an amount of support different from the guidelines. A party may request a deviation in an original pleading or in a motion or a court may deviate upon its own motion. 

A court may deviate from the guidelines if it finds, by the greater weight of evidence, that applying the criteria:

  • Would not meet or would exceed a child’s reasonable needs considering the relative ability of each parent to provide support
  • Would be unjust or inappropriate. If a party requests deviation, the court must hold a hearing

How Far Behind in Child Support Before Jail in North Carolina?

No set amount of child support arrears will automatically result in jail time in North Carolina. Instead, the court will consider several factors, including the amount of arrears, the parent's ability to pay, and the impact on the child when deciding whether to issue a warrant for arrest. 

The court is more likely to issue a warrant for arrest if the parent is more than 120 days behind in child support payments and has made no effort to make payments. When deciding, the court may also consider the parent's criminal history, employment history, and financial resources. 

If you are facing issues with non-payment of child support, it is crucial to speak with our attorney. Our child support attorney can help you understand your rights and options and can represent you in Wake County family court.

Separation Agreements & Child Support

Child support payments may be resolved without going to court by way of a separation agreement. A separation agreement may contain obligations beyond what the law requires, such as college tuition for a child over the age of 18. If the separation agreement is incorporated into a consent order, the court has the power to enforce the provisions that it ordinarily could not require. While the parties may execute a separation agreement which resolves child support, the court retains the authority to protect a child’s interest and modify the support provided in the parties’ separation agreement.

Contact our team at (919) 838-7160 or fill out our online formto help with your child support arrangement. 

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  • Relentless & Aggressive

    Daphne is relentless, in negotiations and trials, and while attempting to settle as much as possible, aggressive representation is sometimes necessary.

  • High Level of Skills

    Daphne spent years working on federal and state appeals, giving her opportunities to develop strong legal writing skills, litigation skills, and negotiation skills. 

  • Personal & Dedicated
    Daphne approaches each client with the personalized attention and care she would want her sibling to receive if going through a divorce; it's personal to her.
  • Decades of Experience
    Daphne has over two decades of experience in state and federal courts and has been negotiating and litigating divorce and family law cases for years.
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