Child support and payment is money paid by a parent for the purpose of meeting the reasonable health, educational and welfare needs of a child. All parents are required to financially support their children. Non-parents are not required to pay child support. Any parent or non-parent who provides care for a child living in their home may request child support and child support payment.
There are several ways to initiate the payment of child support. The parents may sign a Separation Agreement or a Voluntary Support Agreement where the parties agree on the amount of child support. A Voluntary Support Agreement is signed by a Judge and becomes an enforceable Court Order. A Separation Agreement is a private agreement between the parents. A parent requesting child support may file a civil complaint at the Courthouse. The complaint is served on the parent. After 30 days a Court hearing is scheduled. At the hearing, the amount of child support and payment are determined by a Judge. The Judge signs an Order requiring a parent to pay child support. The signed child support order is enforceable by the Court.
The amount of child support paid by a parent is determined by the North Carolina child support guidelines. Under most circumstances, Judges are required to follow the North Carolina child support guidelines. Several factors are utilized when calculating the amount of child support payments. The primary consideration is the parties’ custodial schedule. Once the schedule is determined, the parties’ incomes, work related childcare costs & the cost of providing medical & dental insurance is used to calculate the amount of child support paid by a parent. Child support orders may require a parent to provide medical & dental insurance and for the parents to share the payment of medical, dental or prescription drug expenses not covered by insurance.
Parents are obligated to pay child support until a child reaches 18 years of age. If a child is still attending high school at age 18, a parent is required to pay child support until the child graduates, stops attending school regularly, fails to make satisfactory academic progress, or reaches age 20; whichever occurs first. A parent is not required to pay college expenses.
Child support payments may be modified under conditions. Modification is permitted every three years or if there has been a substantial change of circumstances. A substantial change of circumstances may be a change in the current custodial schedule, loss of employment, decrease in employment income or a termination of work-related childcare expenses.
If you need assistance with a child support case, please contact The Law Office of Stephen Robertson. Our experienced & skilled Family attorneys, and Child Support attorneys can assist you through the process.