Child support is an ongoing, court-ordered payment made to a person who has custody of a child in order to pay for the child’s reasonable needs and expenses. The person responsible for making child support payments is almost always a parent, but other parties can bear financial responsibility for a child’s well-being in limited circumstances.
Under North Carolina law, the responsibility of parents to support their child ends when the child turns 18 and has graduated high school, or when the child turns 20. Parents can agree among themselves to extend the obligation for support beyond 18 — to pay for college expenses, for example — but they cannot attempt to waive or release child support early, even by mutual agreement.
At Myers Law Firm of Charlotte, our experienced family law attorneys are ready to act as your trusted advocates whether you are seeking child support, defending a child support case, or pursuing enforcement of child support.
How Courts Determine Child Support in North Carolina
Child support in North Carolina is determined in one of two ways. Normally, the court will establish child support according to an official set of state guidelines called the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines. In some cases, however, a judge may deviate from these guidelines and set a different amount for child support.
Child support under the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines is based on several factors:
- The parents’ gross monthly income
- Any daycare or childcare expenses paid by the parents
- Health insurance premiums paid by either parent
- “Extraordinary expenses” paid on behalf of a child, which can include things like expenses for visitation-related travel or private school tuition
The formula for child support incorporates all of these factors and, through a mathematical calculation, provides a figure that the law considers a reasonable amount of child support.
In order to deviate from these guidelines, one of the parties must prove that the guidelines are not applicable or would fail to provide a reasonable amount of support. In such a situation, the court establishes the net incomes of the parties, the reasonable needs and expenses of the child, and each parent’s ability to pay in order to set an amount of child support.
Myers Law Firm Is Ready to Help with Your Child Support Case
Child support disputes can create a great deal of stress, but the family law attorneys of Myers Law Firm are ready to advocate on your behalf and defend your rights. Our years of experience representing family law clients have given us a deep familiarity with local courts, and we won’t hesitate to stand up and fight aggressively for your rights in the courtroom if necessary.
To schedule your initial consultation, please call our Charlotte office toll-free at 1-888-376-ATTY (2889) or contact us using our online contact form.