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Getting back to the basics: A closer look at child support in North Carolina

One of the very real concerns for newly divorced parents awarded primary physical custody of their children is whether they’ll be able to make ends meet now that they are essentially a single-income household. While spousal support can help with some of this unease, the divorced parent will likely still need more to cover the myriad of expenses that come with raising children.

This, of course, is where child support comes into play, as it provides a financial lifeline for these parents, helping ensure that they are better positioned to put food on the table, a roof over their children’s head and cover the necessary costs.

Here in North Carolina, the guidelines used to calculate the amount of child support to be paid by a non-custodial parent are triggered if the combined income of the divorcing spouses is less $300,000.

While there are a host of factors that a court will consider when making this calculation, some that of the more notable among them include:

  • The gross monthly income of the father
  • The gross monthly income of the mother
  • The portion of the monthly health insurance premium attributable to children
  • The number of children
  • The monthly daycare costs of each parent
  • The amount of child support already being paid for children from a prior marriage

It’s important to understand that once a determination is made as to the amount of child support, the award is by no means set in stone, as either parent has the option of petitioning the court for a modification if there has been a substantial change in circumstances.

Indeed, state law actually presumes a substantial change in circumstances if the petition to change the amount is filed at least three years after the initial support order is entered, and the difference between the amount of support currently being paid and the amount that would be required with a new child support calculation is at least 15 percent.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the payment or modification of child support, it’s imperative to consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible.