How does child support in North Carolina work?
Parents in North Carolina, whether married or unmarried, are financially responsible for their children. When a couple breaks up, it is especially true that parents are responsible to take care of their children financially.
Couples who divorce or break-up must provide financial support for their children through North Carolina child support payments. In North Carolina, the custodial parent receives monthly payments from the non-custodial parent.
The payments provide the child, or children, with basic needs such as food, shelter, and clothing. The non-custodial parent is the individual with the least contact time or fewest overnights with the child. The custodial parent has the most contact or overnights with the child.
It is the non-custodial parent that must pay NC child support to the custodial parent. Although this is the case, it doesn’t mean the custodial parent doesn’t pay their own part. North Carolina courts assume that the custodial parent spends their half of child support on the youth throughout the month on day-to-day items and care.
How does the non-custodial parent pay North Carolina child support?
The non-custodial parent pays a monthly sum to the custodial parent via check, electronic payment, or cash. In some cases, an individual’s wages can be withheld by the court or through an agreement between the parents.
Child support obligations remain in place until the child turns 18-years old. In some cases, an NC child support order can remain intact until the child turns 20-years old, if they have not yet graduated from high school.
North Carolina child support calculator
Divorce in North Carolina has a strict calculation in place to establish the amount of money a non-custodial parent pays in child support.
The calculation takes into account a number of factors, including:
- Both parents’ gross monthly incomes
- Any child support obligations previously in place with other children
- Other dependents the parents are responsible for
- Daycare and childcare expenses paid by the parents
- The amount of money paid by the parents in health insurance premiums
- Any “extraordinary expenses” that the parents pay on behalf of the child
- Private school tuition
Parents can make a request for the courts to deviate from North Carolina’s child support guidelines. When asking for a deviation, parents can ask the court for more or less financial support. A deviation can be applied if the situation and/or payment isn’t reasonable. One of the reasons child support can be increased is due to a child’s special education or healthcare needs.