As per the law with respect to paying child support in Wilmington, North Carolina, both parents are responsible for the well-being of their child. While the custodial parent has to ensure that the child has their daily living needs met, the non-custodial parent is the one who is usually responsible for paying child support. As per the law, a parent is qualified to receive child support if they spend at least 242 overnight stays with the child in question.
How Does Child Support Liability Work in Wilmington, North Carolina?
The court has a set way for deciding child support liability as well as how much the non-custodial parent has to pay. The amount of child support expected each month depends on the following factors:
- The parent’s income
- The number of children the parent has and supports
- The type of child custody arrangement made at the time of the divorce
Child support payments are covered by the Child Support Guidelines in North Carolina. Most judges go by the laws that are already in place for such matters and very seldom deviate once the sum has been established by the divorce court. However, the court may deviate from this amount if it finds that the child support is inconsistent with the needs of the child or that it would be inappropriate or unjust to enforce an amount that is too high.
One should also be aware that in addition to paying child support to the custodial parent, the non-custodial parent is also responsible for any other expenses that may occur. For example, if the child needs significant dental work for misaligned teeth or requires urgent surgery not fully covered by the custodial parent’s medical insurance, the non-custodial parent has to contribute at least 50% towards the costs of the medical expense. Parents who are already paying child support should keep this in mind.
When determining child support liability, the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines also take into account other sources of income like bonuses, pension, capital gains, commissions, social security benefits, workers compensation incomes or severance pay. The parent responsible for paying child support should know that any other income can be used to determine the final child support payments. That is why it’s best to be upfront and honest with the court. Judges do not take it kindly when the non-custodial parent tries to hide their income so that they would be able to protect themselves from paying child support or pay a much lower amount then they ideally should be paying.
Can the Child Support Amount be Changed?
Sometimes, the needs of the child may be more than the child support payments being made. Other times, the parent paying child support may run into financial difficulties. They could either lose their job or file for bankruptcy. In such situations, one can request a hearing with the assigned judge who has the authority to modify the child support payments either upwards or downwards. However, it is important to have proper reason and evidence to request such a modification.
When Do Child Support Payments Stop?
In Wilmington, North Carolina, the noncustodial parent has to continue paying child support until their child is 18 years old or successfully completes high school, whichever comes last. In the majority of cases, it is very rare for child support liability to continue past the individual’s 20th birthday. There are some cases where parents have shared physical custody, and the child stays overnight with each parent for at least 123 days. In such a scenario, child support liability is determined by a judge who weighs the ratio of each parent’s income and the number of nights the child has spent with the parent and then approves an amount that both parties are bound to pay.
Find Answers to Your Questions About Paying Child Support in North Carolina
If you are a custodial or a non-custodial parent and need to know more about child support liability, it is important that you speak to a child support lawyer in Wilmington, North Carolina. The laws surrounding child support are complex, and that is why a child support lawyer who has previously dealt with such cases would be in a better position to guide and advise you.
At Speaks Family Law, we are committed to representing good people through tough times. Our Wilmington family law attorneys have the experience to help. If you want to ensure that the transition for your child is smooth and that their needs are accounted for even if you and your spouse are separating, you should speak to a reputable child support attorney so they can guide you through this entire process.