Divorce and custody trials can be extremely stressful, time-consuming, and confusing for parents. One aspect of custody trials is child support, and although many couples can come to an agreement on the terms, it’s extremely helpful to have a lawyer on your side to guide you through the process. North Carolina has specific child support guidelines that are easily followed in the court.
The amount paid in child support is typically determined after an evaluation of the income of the parents, the amount of overnights the minor children spend with each parent, the child care expenses, health insurance expenses and any extraordinary expenses. These numbers are inserted into a worksheet and calculated to find the statutorily required amount. The court rarely deviates from the calculations provided in the worksheet. Therefore, if you can do the calculation, you will know what you are supposed to pay.
Action may also be taken against a parent who is believed to owe child support. If support is not paid, the court can hold the person responsible in contempt. If you believe that child support is owed to you, you should also reach out to an attorney to discuss the best course of action. Local agencies can assist you in providing information about your specific case as well. Child support may be settled by private agreement, which may appeal to those who do not want to go to court.
Child support can be filed as a separate action or as part of a case involving absolute divorce, annulment, alimony without divorce, or divorce from bed and board. An action for child support has to be brought forth in either the county where the parent/child lives or the county in which the child is physically present. There are numerous ways that child support can be taken, including a property transfer or a cash payment. Although typically the custodial parent will receive the child support, it can also be paid to the clerk of court.
Any motions or complaints with regard to child support are required to include particular information, such as the minors involved, the adults involved, dates of birth and residential locations, and details of the current custody situation. A custodial parent can also claim for attorneys’ fees if the action is solely for the purposes of child support and that parent does not have sufficient income to pay for their attorney in seeking the child support claim or motion.
Courts consider numerous factors when making child support decisions about a party who is alleged to have not paid, including living expenses for that parent, the living expenses (both present and future) of the child, and how much support the non-custodial parent may have already provided in regard to child support.
When it comes to your child and/or your obligations, you need an attorney to help you sort through your case and be prepared for any court appearances. Contact Meek Law Firm today to discuss your case specifics.
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