An Overview Of Child Support & Custody Laws In North CarolinaIn this article, you can discover information on:

  • The formula that North Carolina family courts use to determine child support
  • How to modify existing child support orders
  • How custody is determined in North Carolina

How Is Child Support Calculated In North Carolina?

Custody arrangements can be complicated, especially when there are multiple children involved. What’s more, factors like income, healthcare, childcare, tuition, and extracurricular activities all need to be taken into account to make sure the arrangement is fair for everyone involved.

To address this, the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services, along with the state legislature, has developed a Child Support Guidelines Worksheet. This formula can be used to calculate child support, depending on the custody arrangement.

Because of this, the type of custody arrangement you have will determine which worksheet and formula you’ll use. Worksheet A is for when one parent has primary and sole custody, Worksheet B is for shared custody cases, and Worksheet C is for cases where split custody is necessary. (This isn’t very common and usually only happens when worksheets A or B don’t cover all the expenses.)

How Long Will I Have To Pay Child Support In North Carolina? How Long Will I Receive Child Support In North Carolina?

Child support payments usually continue until the child reaches 18 years old – but they may be extended if the child is still enrolled in high school.

If the child does not successfully graduate from high school, then payments will continue until graduation or until they reach 21 years old (as long as they continue to attend school and earn good grades).

I Can No Longer Afford The Court Ordered Child Support. Can I Petition For A Reduction In Child Support In North Carolina?

If you find yourself in a situation where you can no longer afford to pay the court-ordered child support, you may petition for a reduction in child support payments in North Carolina.

The process is similar to modifying custody arrangements, and the standard is based on “a substantial change in circumstances”. An increase or decrease in income of 15% or more is considered the benchmark for when the court will presume there has been a significant change.

How Is Custody Determined In North Carolina?

In North Carolina, custody is primarily determined by what is in the best interest of the child. However, it is essential to remember that each parent has a constitutional right to be a parent.

Therefore, the judge must weigh what is in the best interest of the child while also ensuring that each parent can enjoy their right to parenthood.

At What Age Can A Child Have Input Into Who They Will Live With?

When it comes to a child’s input in their custody arrangement, some judges follow “the rule of 7”. This means that the child will not have an opportunity to speak to the judge or have any input if they are seven years old or younger.

However, between the ages of 7 and 14, a child’s ability to give input depends on their maturity. (This is often determined by grades and testimonies from teachers or counselors.)

Then, the presumption is that children over the age of 14 can communicate their wishes to the judge. Still, the child’s maturity level and relationship with their parents will also be considered.

Ultimately, the child’s input is only one factor among many that the judge will consider when determining custody.

Can The Custody Or Visitation Ever Be Modified In North Carolina?

If “a substantial change in circumstances” occurs, it may be possible to modify the terms of a child custody agreement. This will depend on the specific facts of each case. For example, if one party is involved in a severe accident after a court hearing, this could be considered a “substantial change in circumstances”.

A substantial change of circumstance is measured by how much the material change in circumstances impacts the welfare and well-being of the child. If there has been a considerable change that impacts the welfare and well-being of the child, you can likely get a custody order modified.

With the guidance of a skilled attorney for Divorce Cases, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we’ll make it look easy.

For more information on Divorce Cases in North Carolina, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (252) 371-0127 today.

Lusby Law P.A.

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