Child Support

Child support obligations in Monroe Union County and the rest of the state of North Carolina can be complicated. They can also be overwhelming, particularly because the law is constantly changing. That being said, failure to make timely child support payments can have serious consequences in North Carolina. These include being held in contempt of court or even having a warrant being issued for your arrest. If you or someone you know wants to make sure that child support obligations are fair and handled correctly, the help of an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through this confusing process may be necessary.

Child Support Guidelines

Family lawyers and family law courts turn to the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines (NCCSG) to help determine child support obligations. Factors that are considered include the father’s income, the mother’s income, the cost of healthcare for the child, as well as the cost of child care expenses. North Carolina courts may consider additional factors regarding the parents’ financial resources such as inheritances, bonuses, rental property income, pensions, disability, investments, social security benefits, veteran benefits, unemployment benefits and even child care services that are provided by family members or friends. No matter if you are struggling financially to make ends meet or are making well into the six-figures annually, or fall somewhere in between these two scenarios, do not wait to contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Our experienced family law attorneys will help fight for a reasonable and just child support arrangement on your behalf.

Child Support Enforcement

The federal Child Support Enforcement (CSE) program was enacted in 1975 by Congress. The state of North Carolina implemented its own CSE under N.C. General Statutes §§ 110-128 through 110-142.2. The CSE establishes broad means for the state to enforce and obtain child support payments, among other powers.

The CSE program begins with a family court entering an order mandating that a party make child support payments. The amount of child support obligations may be based on an agreement made between the couple or the court may calculate the amount based on the factors mentioned above. It is common for child support calculations to be enforced as part of a divorce judgment. If the parents of the children were never married, the custodial parent can petition the court for child support on behalf of the minor.

Failure to Pay Child Support

It is important to understand that North Carolina courts do not take a parent’s failure to make child support payments lightly. In fact, a parent who owes child support and is unable to pay, refuses to pay, pays less than the amount, or makes untimely payments can be subject to harsh penalties. These include contempt proceedings, monetary fines, or even jail time.

The most common method used by North Carolina courts to enforce child support payments are contempt proceedings. These proceedings can result in a parent serving time in jail until he or she has satisfied the outstanding child support balance. Alternatively, a family law court may choose to garnish the parent’s wages instead. Wage garnishment is the process by which a portion of the delinquent parent’s paycheck is automatically withheld and paid as child support. This is possible because under federal law, all employers participate in a national registrar. The registrar allows courts an easy avenue for accessing and withholding money from a delinquent parent’s paycheck, even if he or she is living and working across state lines.

Beyond this, the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFS) grants whichever court that issued the initial child support order to continue to exercise its exclusive and complete jurisdiction over the parties in the case (i.e., the parents). In other words, even if a parent moves out of the state the original family law court that issued original child support obligation order is the only court that has the authority to modify or enforce the judgement. Finally, there are several federal laws that govern child support. The Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act or the Child Support Recovery Act criminalize parents who do not make their child support obligations. Violations of child support obligations can result in harsh federal penalties including monetary fines and even incarceration.

Contact Our Office Today

North Carolina and federal laws stern approach to child support reminds us all that the stakes are high when it comes to the care of a child. While this is true, it is important that your child support obligations are fair and handled correctly in Monroe Union County. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your child support obligations and the adequate care of your child, do not hesitate to contact an experienced attorney at Arnold & Smith, PLLC today.