NC child support is used to provide financial assistance to the parent that has primary custody of the children in the state of North Carolina. Child support is used to offset the costs of having children, such as food, clothing, and other expenses. In addition, NC child support can also be paid where each parents share equal time with the children, provided that one parent makes substantially more money or pays for the daycare related to the children.
Will I receive Child Support?
A number of factors are involved when calculating the amount of child support that may be paid. Some of these include the overall custody schedule, how much money each parent makes, what insurance costs for the children, and the cost of work related child care.
Although child support in North Carolina is calculated based on a set formula, there are many variables and factors that come into play. If you have custody of your children and believe that you will need child support, then you should contact our office for an initial assessment of your situation.
How much NC Child Support will I receive?
The amount of child support you receive is based on the current custody schedule in place, the combined monthly income of both parent, and the financial needs of the child. With the correct information in hand, we can easily calculate the appropriate amount of child support in your case during an initial meeting with our office. However, even though the calculation of child support seems easy, there are many variables at play, and the formula inputs are frequently negotiated during the course of an initial separation.
If you would like to calculate child support on your own, the State of North Carolina provides online worksheets that you can use to determine the amount of child support that is appropriate for your situation. Before using these worksheets, you much have resolved your custody issues, or at least be reasonably certain that you know what your custody schedule will be, as the amount of support paid (and the worksheet used) will vary depending on the custody arrangement in your situation.
Who Decides How Much Child Support is Paid?
In an ideal situation, both parents will agree on what the needs of their children are, and determine a dollar amount that best supports the kids. If you and the other parent are able to determine the amount of child support on your own, there is no need for the courts to get involved and this is frequently the best scenario. However, if the parents are unable to reach an agreement, or if one parent refuses to even provide the financial information necessary to calculate a payment, then a judge will have a hearing and calculate an appropriate amount. In these situations, if the supporting parent does not pay according to the court’s order, then they will face a charge of contempt of court.
Are NC Child Support payments taxable
Under current law, NC child support payments are neither taxable to the receiving parent, or tax deductible to the parent paying the support. Rather, child support is simply a cash payment from one parent to the other to offset the costs associated with raising a child.
How is Child Support calculated in North Carolina?
Child support is calculated based on a statutory formula in North Carolina that takes into account the number of overnights that each parent has with the child, the gross monthly income of each parent, the cost of healthcare for the minor child, the cost of work-related childcare, and the cost of any other special needs for the minor child.
If the non-custodial parent has less than 123 overnights per year with the minor child, then they will be required to pay child support to the custodial parent. In these situations, it is resumed that the other parent, having more than 242 overnights with the child, is already spending the required amount on the minor child.
However, if each parent has more than 123 overnights with the child, then the statutory formula will dictate how much each parent should contribute to the support needs of the minor child and will determine which parent will make a payment to the other parent.
Can Child Support be Changed?
Because a child support payment can last for an extended period of time, it would be unusual if your financial circumstances don’t change somewhat during that period. You or the other parent may change jobs, your income may fluctuate, and even the time that you are spending with your children may change. In these situations, you may find yourself paying (or receiving) too much or too little support.
If you were able to negotiate your original child support payment without the help of the court system, and you are on positive terms with the other parent, then you may be able to re-negotiate the amount of your child support. However, sometimes it is necessary to involve the court system in these matters, and there is a process set up to modify the amount of your child support payment.
If your original child support payment was ordered by the court, then you would simply file a motion to modify your child support payment and schedule a short hearing with the judge assigned to your file. The judge may increase or decrease your original child support order based on the evidence presented at the hearing.
In order to change the amount of the original child support order, the Judge must be satisfied that there has been a “substantial change in circumstances” since the entry of the original order. This legal requirement is necessary to prevent parties from filing a motion to modify each and every time one parent receives a small raise at work or switches jobs.
The court may find that there has been a substantial change in circumstances if the amount of the proposed modification varies by more than 15% from the original child support order. This can happen when the incomes of the parties has changed, if a child is no longer enrolled in work-related childcare, or if one child ages out of the child support system.
How Does Child Support Work in North Carolina?
Under North Carolina Statutes, child support consists of the ongoing maintenance payments made by one parent to another for the financial support and care of their children when a relationship or marriage has been terminated. In other words, if you are the parent of a child who you no longer live on a day-to-day basis, you could be required to pay child support. There is no requirement that you have been married to your child’s other parent, or even that you have a relationship with them. All that is required is that you are the legal or biological parent of a child that lives with the other parent or someone else (foster care, government agency, adopted parent, etc.)
The calculation of child support in North Carolina is governed by statute. In order to make an accurate calculation of child support, you must know the gross income of both parents, how many days the child is scheduled to stay with each parent in a calendar year, what the health insurance expenses are for the child (and who pays them), and whether there are any child care expenses (and who pays them). Since it is possible for these variables to change over time, in certain circumstances you can request a modification of your child support payment.
You should also be aware that unlike alimony, child support is not taxable to the person who receives it, nor is it tax-deductible to the person who pays it. However, determining who the custodial parent will be does carry with it various tax ramifications, such as who will claim the child as a dependent, who is entitled to the child tax credit, and who can claim head of household status on their tax return.
What does child support cover?
Child support is meant to cover the basic costs of living, such as food, clothing and shelter. However, other extracurricular activities, uninsured medical expenses and various educational expenses are typically not included in the basic child support amount. There can be exceptions to this, specifically where the parties have agreed that child support will include these amounts pursuant to a separation agreement.
When does Child Support End in North Carolina?
Under North Carolina law, child support payments will typically continue until the child for whom support is paid turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever is last. However, if the child remains in high school past their 18th birthday (which frequently occurs if a child is homeschooled), then child support will terminate when the child turns 20.
Where to File Child Support
A child support attorney can help you to file for child support. However, if you wish to file on your own without the assistance of a lawyer, you may reach out to your local child support services office for assistance.
If you are in the midst of negotiating a legal separation, then your lawyer will help you to negotiate child support as part of your overall divorce settlement.
What do you need to know about Child Support and Taxes?
Under current federal tax laws, your child support payment is not deductible if you are the parent who is paying support. In addition, child support is not included as taxable income if you are receiving support.
What if you have more questions about Child Support?
At The Hart Law Firm, we can help you to calculate an appropriate amount of child support for your case, and negotiate on your behalf. If you are going through a legal separation, please contact us to learn more about your rights as a parent.