Below are some frequently asked questions about Child Support:
How do North Carolina courts establish child support?
Separated or divorced parents in North Carolina have two ways to establish child support: (1) through a private separation agreement, or (2) by taking their case to a family law court. The first method is quicker, more convenient, less stressful (and less expensive), by far. In either case, it’s best to work with a child support lawyer who can advise you of your legal rights and help you protect your child’s interests.
When determining child support, a family law court will consider:
- The child’s reasonable maintenance, health, and education needs
- Both parents’ income (and, in some cases, potential income)
- The custody arrangements—that is, which parent has primary custody and handles the child’s day-to-day maintenance
Can I ask to modify a child support order in NC?
Parents in NC may ask the court to modify a child support order for various reasons, like a reduction in income or a substantial change in the child’s needs. The court may consider modifying a child support order if:
- The difference between the current child support amount and the prospective amount is 15% or more
- The current order is at least three years old
- A major change in the child’s (or either parent’s) circumstances occurred since the previous order
What happens if my ex refuses to pay child support?
If your co-parent violates the court’s child support order, you have several legal options to pressure them to comply with their financial obligations. If negotiations with your child’s other parent fail, you may consider filing a Motion for Contempt to enforce child support payments.
You can also contact North Carolina Child Support Enforcement and request help with collecting child support. Potential enforcement actions may include wage garnishment, property liens, and tax refund interception.
Our experienced child support lawyers in NC can help you pursue legal action if your co-parent refuses to pay child support.
When should I contact a child support law firm?
Even if your divorce proceeds amicably, we recommend consulting a child support lawyer to make sure you understand your legal rights and negotiate a reasonable child support agreement. Whether you’re the parent who pays or the parent who receives child support, working with a child support attorney can reduce uncertainty, conflict, and stress. Call our office at Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division in Wilmington, NC, at (910) 769-7339 for a consultation.
Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division
300 N. 3rd St. Suite 310
Wilmington, NC 28401