Child support payments could cover many expenses necessary for caring for a young one. Medical fees, schooling and other costs may rely on child support payments, and many parents make these payments willingly. However, a parent’s circumstances might change, and those changes could impact their ability to pay. North Carolina maintains clear steps for those wishing to modify their child support payment amounts.
A formal process for making modifications
North Carolina law points out specific criteria that a parent must meet to seek child support modifications successfully. For example, three years must pass after a previous child support modification. Also, at least one child must be under the age of 18.
The court will review a parent’s current financial situation in relation to the child support payments. A drop in a parent’s income or a change in custody status could support changing the amount. Parents must show at least a 15% difference from current payments based on their levels of gross income.
Additional matters of concern
Be mindful that a custodial parent could request more money for child support. The child’s needs may change, leading to the request. A child could develop a medical condition that increases costs.
Child support modifications do not follow an informal process. Filing a petition is necessary to initiate the request. Petitioners should expect to provide evidence to support the request.
What if a parent stops paying?
Parents who underpay child support or outright stop making payments could find themselves in legal trouble. If financial problems arise, the modification process provide a potential solution. Simply not paying might prove disastrous for all those involved.
An attorney may assist a client with providing the necessary documentation for a modification request. The attorney may also address the court’s inquiries and respond on behalf of the client.