Is Child Support Mandatory in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, both parents must provide for their children whether they are married or not. After a divorce, the court will ensure that the non-custodial parent makes monthly payments after a divorce to support the child’s maintenance, education, and health. But, what are the circumstances that may affect this requirement?

Factors considered in determining child support

Factors considered include your gross income before taxes, pre-existing child support for other dependent children, child care costs, health insurance premiums, and other factors. If both parents have a yearly combined gross income of more than $300,000, the court will not consider any other factors except meeting the child’s reasonable needs.

Modifying child support

There are instances where the court can modify the amount payable. For example, if your income drops by 15% or more, the court can reconsider and adjust the amount of money you pay. Other circumstances can be when the custodial rights change, having a new baby, or when you incur an injury. On other occasions, judges might deviate from the general North Carolina child support guidelines if they feel like the calculated amount doesn’t cater to the child’s needs. Many other considerations can lead to the modifications. Work closely with your attorney to see how this may affect you.

Stopping child support

Generally, child support automatically ends when the child turns 18 or 20, depending on whether they have finished their high school education or not. Notwithstanding, factors that may lead to earlier termination of child support include:

  • When the child stops leaving with the primary custodian
  • When they emancipate themselves
  • When they have enlisted in the military
  • When you have reunited with the other parent
  • When you are not the biological parent
  • When the custodial parent agrees to stop it

Calculating child support can be challenging, and it may also be difficult to make sure that your rights as a parent are accounted for. Getting help from a child support attorney could be advisable.

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