Brown gavel - Lusby Law P.A.Child support issues in a North Carolina divorce case are challenging for several reasons. Being forced to deal with the legal system as your family seems to be ripping apart before your very eyes, you can quickly feel overwhelmed. We hope to alleviate some of this burden by helping you navigate these realities with this article, which covers:

  • A general overview of the criteria for modifying child support.
  • New laws in North Carolina that affect child support.
  • The documentation you’ll need handy if you’re proceeding with modifying child support.

Can You Modify Child Support In North Carolina?

Child support can be modified in North Carolina under certain circumstances. The key factor for modification is a substantial change in circumstances, particularly related to the income of one or both parents. Common scenarios in which child support modification may be considered include:

Change in Income

If there is a significant change (increase or decrease) in the income of one or both parents, and this change is at least 15% or more of the original income considered in the child support order, it may be grounds for modification.

Change in Expenses or Financial Circumstances

Even if income remains relatively stable, a change in other financial circumstances or reasonable expenses may be considered. This could include factors such as medical expenses, childcare costs, or other necessary expenses that impact the financial situation of the parents.

What Are The New North Carolina Child Support Laws For 2024?

In North Carolina, child support calculations are determined by the state legislature. This formula draws on guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services. It involves inputting relevant figures, and the result is the presumed support obligation assigned to the non-custodial parent or, in some cases, a joint custodial parent. These guidelines are enforced by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Does Child Support Automatically Change If The Paying Parent’s Salary Changes In North Carolina?

Child support in North Carolina does not automatically increase or decrease with changes in the paying parent’s salary. For modifications to occur, there must be a significant change of 15% or more from the previous court-ordered amount.

Even in the case of substantial income changes, such as doubling their salary, child support orders are not adjusted unless a formal motion to modify is filed with the court. Without legal action, the child support amount remains unchanged despite fluctuations in the paying parent’s income.

What Is Considered A Substantial Change In Circumstances As It Relates To Modifying Child Support In North Carolina?

In North Carolina, a substantial change in circumstances for modifying child support involves two key factors:

Salary Change

A significant increase or decrease of 15% or more in the paying parent’s income compared to the previous court-ordered amount.

Change in Discretionary Income

Examining whether there has been a substantial and reasonable change in the discretionary income of one parent. This could include factors such as increased reasonable expenses, such as necessary medical expenses or changes in housing costs due to factors beyond the parent’s control.

The change must be significant, reasonable, and not a result of voluntary actions that could have been avoided. This could involve factors like job loss, medical issues, or other circumstances that impact the financial situation of the parents involved. If these criteria are met, a formal motion to modify child support can be filed with the court.

What Documentation Or Evidence Is Required When Changing A Child Support Order?

The most significant documentation you’ll need to change a child support order is pay stubs and bank transactions from the preceding six months. These reveal how you allocate your finances, highlighting your bills and revealing your discretionary income.

For more information on Child Support Issues In An NC Divorce Case, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (252) 371-0127 today.

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