Child Support and Why It Is Ordered

Some people in North Carolina have the misguided notion that single parents receive too much in child support. Following a divorce or child custody dispute, the parents can either agree to a specific monthly amount or let the court decide for them. When a case is left to the courts, a judge will determine the amount of child support to order.

States use different formulas in calculating the amount of monthly support. Raising children alone is very expensive, and a judge will try to make a child’s post-divorce situation as similar as possible to how it would have been if the parents had remained together.

People who receive child support are allowed to spend it in whatever manner they wish. This fact sometimes gives people the impression that single parents are blowing through money rather than spending it on their children. Kids involve hidden expenses, such as added costs for electricity, rent, food, extracurricular activities and transportation. A parent who receives child support is not required to provide information to the other parent about how their money is spent each month as that would be a violation of privacy.

In a divorce or child custody case, both parents are expected to contribute financially to their child’s upbringing. The amount each parent is responsible for is calculated, taking into account their relative incomes and other factors. The court then awards child support based on guidelines set out by the state. It is possible for courts to order amounts that are higher than the guidelines in some cases, including when a child has extraordinary expenses. A divorcing parent might want to discuss what they might expect for child support with a family law attorney.

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