Child Support Answers

If you are considering a divorce in Charlotte, North Carolina, one of your biggest concerns is likely regarding child support. Child support calculations can be challenging to complete, and oftentimes parents have many questions related to their child support obligations. The following are some answers to commonly asked questions regarding child support in divorce cases.

Do I Have to Pay Child Support?

Which parent pays child support depends on which parent has custody as well as the incomes of each parent. The state of North Carolina takes child support orders seriously. Once entered, these orders by the court are not optional, and if a parent does not comply with their financial responsibility for a child, or children, as calculated and ordered by the court, the parent may incur additional penalties. It is important to always emotionally and financially support your child. Your child support order is valid and enforceable unless and until another child support order replaces it.

My Situation has Changed Since the Divorce, can I Change the Child Support Order?

Yes. You must petition the court and prove that there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the original child support order. The State of North Carolina presumes that the passage of at least three years from the entry of the last child support order with at least a 15% difference in child support calculations is a substantial change in circumstances. Other substantial changes in circumstances that can be considered by the Court are changes in income, changes in the needs of the child or children and changes in custody. It is important to note that child support order modifications are not guaranteed and are at the discretion of the court.

How am I Supposed to Calculate the Child Support That I Owe?

If you were involved in a divorce that was finalized, the calculation has already been done for you. If you are in the process of a divorce, there are specific guidelines that need to be used to make the calculation of child support. The calculations will include your gross income, how many children will need to receive financial support, as well as the amount of overnights the child, or children. spends with you. Always visit with an experienced attorney to ensure that your calculations are correct.

I am Receiving Child Support: What can I Use it for?

If you are receiving child support from the other parent of your child, those monies should only be used for the needs of your child. You may use them for essential needs such as food, water, clothing, housing, electricity, or for education or camps. While it is oftentimes difficult to prove what a person is using child support money for, these payments are intended to directly allow the other parent to financially support their child in a meaningful way. It is imperative that these funds are used appropriately.

How Long do I Have to Pay Child Support?

Every case is different, but in most circumstances, a parent will pay child support until the child turns 18 years old. If there is a special needs child, the obligation to pay child support may be lifelong. Many parents currently face this situation, and it is important to note that not only child support but child custody matters will be completely different if the child involved in a divorce is a special needs child. If you have a child who has any kind of special needs, it is critical to visit with an experienced divorce attorney to ensure that not only are your legal rights protected, but that your child’s legal rights are protected throughout the adult years, as well.

Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney

If you are considering a divorce and are concerned about child support calculations and issues related to child support, you should contact an experienced divorce attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina to ensure that your legal rights are protected. Contact an experienced divorce attorney at Arnold & Smith, PLLC at 704.370.2828 or online today to schedule your consultation.