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North Carolina Family Law Blog

When parents want to end child support payments

Child support can be necessary for many parents in North Carolina, and determining the amount of child support benefits can be a significant part of any custody or divorce process. Children are entitled to receive financial support from both of their parents until they become adults, and these support benefits can be mandated by the court even when parents do not formally file for support. There are several reasons why the parent receiving child support may want to stop these payments, even if they initially applied to receive them.

There are a number of reasons why child support benefits could be modified, including a change to the child custody and visitation schedule or a change in financial circumstances. However, in some cases, people may want to stop benefits entirely and put an end to the financial obligation registered in the courts. In particular, some divorced or separated parents may reunite and pay their children's expenses out of their common funds. In this situation, child support benefits paid from one parent to the other would be unnecessary and an unwelcome reminder of their previous separation.

Common child support flaws

Many parents in North Carolina struggle with issues of child support. Child support payments are an important part of parental responsibility, but it can sometimes be difficult to make payments. Many parents are also unaware of the details regarding child support, including how it is calculated and what their rights and options are in terms of determining or paying child support.

Low-income individuals disproportionately represent those who owe child support debt. A study by the Urban Institute reported that 70 percent of those who owe child support made less than $10,000 per year. An online article also detailed a documentary focused certain flaws in the child support system that tend to punish parents who are trying to do the right thing. Often, child support cases focus on the deadbeat parents who make little attempt to fulfill their obligations, but the documentary wanted to break away from this stereotype. The film focused on dads in the Philadelphia child support system and the challenges and hardships they endured.

Custodial parents and child support

If parents in North Carolina get a divorce and do not share custody, one parent will generally be considered the custodial parent while the other has visitation rights. Simply being a single parent who has the child living at home while the other parent is largely absent does not automatically make someone the custodial parent, and if this is the situation, the parent may want to consult an attorney about whether it is necessary to establish custodial rights.

Being a custodial parent has advantages and disadvantages. One of the primary advantages is that the custodial parent gets the bulk of time with the child. Even a generous visitation arrangement does not compare to having the child in the home more than half the time and dealing with the daily routine of parenting including helping children with homework or through emotional turmoil. However, being the custodial parent can also mean that a parent is the target of any frustration or other negative emotions the child is feeling.

Advice for keeping the peace while co-parenting

If you're about to start co-parenting with your ex-spouse in a 50/50 joint custody arrangement, you might be wondering what you just signed up for. This is particularly true if you and your ex have a hard time getting along. In some cases, you may indeed have cause for concern.

Co-parenting relationships, in which the children live half the time with one parent and half the time with the other, work best when the spouses can work together and easily come to agreement about various parenting decisions. To help you and your spouse work together diplomatically, we have a few suggestions you might want to keep in mind.

Options for flexible child visitation schedules

Parents in North Carolina who make a child custody agreement in which one person is the custodial parent and the other has visitation rights have a number of options for the child custody and visitation schedule. One of the most common schedules is one in which the child spends every other weekend with the noncustodial parent.

While this is often from 6 p.m. on Friday to 6 p.m. on Sunday, the parents might agree to extend this until Monday. This can be particularly helpful if one parent is often away on weekends and has trouble getting back by Sunday evening. Some parents add a weekday evening of visitation or an overnight.

How divorce can influence taxes owed

When North Carolina parents get divorced, they may be thinking more about their children than the IRS. However, there can be many tax issues to consider when parents decide to end their marriage. For instance, those who have children will need to think about who will claim the exemption for the child or the child tax credit. There are also credits related to child care expenses that a mother or father could be entitled to.

Only one parent is allowed to claim the dependent credit. Generally, the IRS allows the custodial parent to claim it, and the custodial parent is considered to be the one who provides more than half of the child's support. However, the noncustodial parent can take this exemption if certain criteria are met. If there are questions as to who gets the credit, the IRS does have ways to end the dispute.

Custody dispute resurfaces between Nas and Kelis

North Carolina fans of rapper Nas and singer Kelis may have followed their child custody disputes. The two reached a joint custody agreement in March regarding their 8-year-old son. Although its details were kept private, reportedly, it included a detailed calendar of when the child would spend holidays and other times with each parent.

However, Nas says that when he went to pick up his son so that he could have him during Passover, which began on March 30, Kelis yelled at him and would not let him take the boy. Kelis claims that the child wanted to stay with her. Nas also says that he is not allowed to pick up the child at school and that Kelis interferes with his access to the child.

Domestic Violence: Abuser or the abused?

If you're threatened by your spouse or feel that you're potentially going to become a victim of domestic violence, it's realistic to seek out a protective order. These orders help people in dangerous situations get away from their abusers.

They're a critical part of the justice system, and they help keep you and your children safe when threatened. However, there are some people who take advantage of these orders, which can end up hurting their cases in court.

Abusive parents can still get custody of their kids

Those who are perpetrators of abuse in North Carolina and elsewhere may attempt to gain control over their victims through their children. Specifically, they try to gain custody or other rights to the children as a means of staying in the victim's life. This is a form of what is known as coercive control, and it takes the form of financial or mental abuse as opposed to using physical violence against a victim.

An abusive parent may try to turn the children against the other parent by talking about how bad they are at raising them. While most parents who leave an abuser think that they will gain custody of their children, this isn't always the case. Some courts will not see the abuse as relevant to a current custody case. Instead, the judges may place a higher priority on ensuring that both parents are involved in their children's lives to best meet their best interest.

How can I leave an abusive relationship when I have no money?

Often times abusers will control their partner's finances to keep them from leaving the relationship. Luckily that doesn't have to be the case. Many women escape abusive relationships without money by creating a plan and reaching out to the others for help - and you can too.

Here are some tips to get out of an abusive relationship when your partner controls your finances.

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