Charlotte Child Support Attorneys

Providing Child Support Services in Charlotte, NC

One of the most debated topics in a family law case is the legal obligation of child support. While this is typical, it does not always have to be. Child support agreements can be settled amicably without court appearances with the support of the right lawyer. Our child support lawyer in Charlotte is happy to help guide you through this process with ease.

While there are various worksheets to help you determine a child support payment, it would benefit you and your child to consult with an experienced lawyer beforehand. Your circumstances are unique, so, it is safe to assume, your child support payment will be as well.

Have questions about North Carolina's child support laws? Contact us online or at (704) 286-0570 to speak with one of our Charlotte child support lawyers today.

What is Child Support?

Child support is a financial obligation that a noncustodial parent is required to pay to the custodial parent or legal guardian for the financial care and support of their child or children. The purpose of child support is to ensure that both parents contribute to the financial well-being of their children, even if they are not living together.

Child support orders are usually established through court proceedings. The court reviews the financial circumstances of both parents and issues an order specifying the amount of child support to be paid.

Both parents are responsible for supporting their child financially. The noncustodial parent, who typically has less time with the child, contributes through child support payments to ensure that the child's needs are met in both households.

How Do I File an Action for Child Support?

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In North Carolina, a child support action can be filed as a civil action or with a divorce, annulment, or alimony action without divorce. A child support agreement may be settled privately with the assistance of each parent’s attorney, or publicly in court. The action must be filed in the county where the parent or child resides, or the county where the child is physically present.

How To Determine Child Support

The guidelines the court will consider before making a child support determination include:

  • Your custody schedules
  • The monthly gross income of both parents
  • Pre-existing child support
  • Childcare costs
  • The cost of health insurance
  • The cost of transporting the child from one parent’s home to the other
  • The cost associated with a child with special needs

Determination of Support in Cases Involving High Combined Incomes

In cases where the parents’ combined adjusted gross income exceeds $30,000 per month or $360,000 per year, the basic child support obligation is determined differently. The court may set the amount according to the reasonable needs of the child for education, healthcare, and maintenance considering additional factors such as the child’s accustomed standard of living, child care expenses, the parents’ estates, earnings, and the other parent’s accustomed standard of living.

Modifying Child Support

A significant change in circumstances, in the context of child support modification, typically refers to a substantial and material change that affects the financial situation of one or both parents. This change must be significant enough to warrant a reassessment of the existing child support order.

Common examples of significant changes in circumstances include:

  • Income Changes: Job loss or change in employment status, salary or wage increases or decreases, changes in bonuses or commissions, or loss of overtime or additional income sources
  • Healthcare Expenses: Significant changes in medical expenses, especially if not covered by insurance, as well as health insurance premium adjustments
  • Child's Needs: Changes in the child's health, medical needs, or educational requirements and special needs of the child that were not initially considered
  • Custody Arrangements: Changes in custody or visitation arrangements or relocation of either parent affecting visitation or travel costs
  • Alimony or Spousal Support Changes: Changes in alimony or spousal support payments received or paid
  • Additional Dependents: Birth or adoption of additional children for either parent or additional children from a new relationship
  • Cost of Living Adjustments: Changes in the cost of living in the area where the child resides
  • Education Expenses: Changes in educational expenses, such as tuition or extracurricular activities
  • Disability or Health Issues: Onset of a disability affecting the ability to work and earn income
  • Health issues affecting the ability to fulfill financial obligations
  • Legal Changes: Changes in laws or regulations governing child support calculations

Establishing Paternity & Support Orders

Unless the alleged father concedes paternity, an order for child support payments cannot be made by a judge. If you believe the alleged father is fabricating the truth, you may request a DNA test, which may or may not be granted. Without establishing paternity, the father cannot make any decisions on behalf of the child, leaving the mother with sole custody.

What Does NC Say About Child Support in Arrears?

Under normal circumstances, support will be paid until the child turns 18 years of age. If arrears exist, state law supports the next child support order to be good for 10 years. Essentially, if payments were neglected by the payor, he or she may be ordered to pay back child support until the child is 28. Due to the nature of this law, it's imperative that you speak with our attorney as soon as possible if you suspect your payments are missing or late.

Why You Need Our Charlotte Child Support Lawyer on Your Side

Blood Law, PLLC focuses on three main branches of the law, so you know you are getting the best representation available for your specific situation. Child support is an important factor that will support your child as he/she grows up. Ensure you have the right legal team on your side to help you find the best possible solution for your family. Schedule a consultation with our child support attorneys in Charlotte today to learn more about our services.

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Get in touch online or call our Charlotte child support attorney directly at (704) 286-0570 to book a consultation.

Child Support FAQ:

How long does child support last?

In North Carolina, child support typically lasts until the child reaches the age of 18. However, the following are some circumstances that can extend or terminate child support payments:
  • Emancipation: Child support may terminate if the child becomes emancipated before turning 18. Emancipation refers to the legal process by which a minor is declared independent and is no longer under the control or support of their parents.
  • Graduation from High School: If a child is still in high school when they turn 18, child support may continue until they graduate or turn 20, whichever occurs first. However, this extension only applies if the child is making progress toward graduation and not married.
  • Disability or Special Needs: Child support may continue beyond the age of 18 if the child has a disability or special needs that require ongoing support. The court may order continued support in such cases.
  • Agreement Between Parents: Parents can reach an agreement to extend child support beyond the age of 18. This agreement needs to be approved by the court to be enforceable.
  • Entering the Military: If a child enters active military service, child support may be extended until they complete their service.
It is important to consult with a Charlotte child support attorney to understand the specific circumstances that may impact the duration of child support in your case.

Can child support be enforced across state lines?

Yes, child support orders can be enforced across state lines through the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). UIFSA allows for the establishment, modification, and enforcement of child support orders across different states. This ensures that child support obligations are honored regardless of the location of the custodial and noncustodial parents. Cooperation between the states' child support agencies and legal processes helps facilitate the enforcement of child support orders.

What are the consequences for nonpayment of child support?

Nonpayment of child support in North Carolina can have serious consequences. The state has enforcement measures in place to ensure compliance with child support orders. Consequences for nonpayment can include wage garnishment, interception of tax refunds, suspension of driver's licenses or professional licenses, liens on property, and even contempt of court charges, which may result in fines or imprisonment.

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