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Family Law Archives

Child support and buying a home

North Carolina residents who owe back child support and are looking to purchase a home may be concerned about whether their delinquent child support payments will hinder their efforts to be a homeowner. They should be aware that delinquent child support can qualify as a derogatory credit issue, which can lower the likelihood that they will be approved for a mortgage. However, they may have other options as there are loan programs that do not disqualify applicants because of child support arrearage.

Collection of unpaid medical expenses from noncustodial parent

A child support agreement developed between parents in North Carolina sometimes addresses the expenses that could arise for a child's uninsured or unreimbursed medical expenses. These costs represent bills in addition to health insurance premiums, such as co-pays, deductibles, prescriptions or dental and vision expenses not covered by insurance. A child support order could describe specifically when a noncustodial parent must pay a portion of these extraordinary medical expenses. A custodial parent, however, might encounter difficulty collecting payment if the other parent protests the cost or the support order does not clearly address the situation.

The basics of child support in North Carolina

While men generally pay child support more often than women do, any noncustodial parent in North Carolina can be responsible for making payments to the parent who has custody regardless of gender. There are several additional factors taken into consideration when determining how much child support is awarded and which parent will receive it. First of all, a relationship to the child must be established. With mothers, this is typically done with a record of the child's birth.

The four different child support classifications

A child support case in North Carolina or any other state can have one of four designations. Each label begins with "IV" in reference to Title IV of the Social Security Act of 1975. If a case has an IV-D label, it means that a parent has asked for help from the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE). Cases with a non-IV-D designation involve parents who receive support without seeking such assistance.

National statistics for child support

Some commentators like to promote the misconception that single parents in North Carolina and the rest of the United States receive an inordinate amount of child support. According to the Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support report released by the Census Bureau, however, the opposite may actually be true.

High number of wage garnishments for child support

Some North Carolina parents who are not receiving the child support they are supposed to get may turn to the court system for help. This could result in the parent who is not paying support being the subject of a wage garnishment. A study by the ADP Research Institute found that about 7 percent of workers throughout the country had had their wages garnished in 2016, and the most common reasons were unpaid child support closely followed by consumer and student loans and back taxes. More than 70 percent of workers with wage garnishments were men, and a significant majority of those garnishments were for unpaid child support.

Divorce assets aren't always what they seem to be

When couples living in North Carolina decide to end their marriages, property division is often a primary consideration. In many cases, the spouses genuinely want a fair and equitable settlement but may not fully understand the value of all of their assets. This can sometimes lead to mistakes during negotiations.

The importance of DNA testing

In an ideal world, every child born in North Carolina has two parents committed to nurturing and supporting that child. However, there are circumstances in which there is some question over a child's paternity and the father's obligation to provide support. As a result, one or both parents may decide to request DNA testing.

Women, finances and divorce

North Carolina women may find themselves in an unexpected financial situation after a divorce. According to a report issued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office in 2012, the household income for women dropped an average of 41 percent after their marriage ended, which is almost twice the income loss experienced by men. A significant reason women tend not to fare as well as men after a divorce is that women tend to earn less of an income than men. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average weekly earnings for women are 82 cents for every dollar men take home. The inequality in pay can be even greater when factors such as types of jobs or certain ethnic backgrounds are taken into account.

Requirements for deducting alimony payments

North Carolina estranged couples who have concerns about how a divorce may affect their tax obligations should be aware of a decision by the United States Tax Court. The ruling established that simply giving money to an ex-spouse does not meet the criteria for an alimony deduction. It must be included in a legal separation or divorce agreement.

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