Child Support

The law recognizes that parents not only enjoy the privilege of spending time with their children but also that they have a financial responsiblity to support their minor children.   Therefore, the Court has established a process by which a parent of a child can seek child support from the other parent, whether or not the parents were ever married.   In North Carolina, the legislature has determined a child support formula, known as the "North Carolina Child Support Guidelines" to deternine how much each parent should contribute to the child's expenses (see child support calculator).  The Court bases the calculation of child support based upon the incomes of both parents, the health insurance expenses of the children, the work-related day care expenses of the children, the number of chlidren, and each parent's responsiblity to support any other children.   on the needs of the child and the financial circumstances of the parents. The Court must apply these State mandatory guidelines in determining the appropriate amount of child support, unless the use of these guidelines would not meet the reasonable needs of the child in a particular case which must be proven on a case-by-case basis.  Generally, the Courts use the NC Child Support Guidelines to determining the amount of child support a parent will be legally required to pay. 

The Court, upon a showing of change of circumstances that directly affects the child's financial needs or after three years, may modify the last Child support Order. Child support is payable until: (1) child is emancipated or (2) child turns eighteen except if the child is still in primary or secondary school when he reaches age eighteen, then the Court can order support to continue until he graduates or reaches age 20, whichever comes first. The Court has no authority over rights of children after they are emancipated. Parents are free to legally bind themselves by agreement relating to obligations regarding children after emancipation and if they do so the Court will uphold those agreements.

Child Support North Carolina Guidelines

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