When parents separate or divorce in North Carolina, ensuring the well-being and stability of any minor children affected becomes a priority for everyone involved, including the state itself. The child support system is designed to help accomplish this by ensuring that the children of divorce will have the resources necessary to maintain the standard of living they had in a two-parent household.
Calculating these payments can be quite complex, as it is influenced by:
Whichever side of the child support equation you might be on, understanding these factors is crucial for protecting your interests as well as the financial well-being of your family. At Lehnhardt Price Family Law, we pride ourselves on being able to offer our clients insights into these pivotal calculations.
A parent’s fundamental obligation is to support their child, and when households break apart, legal intervention can sometimes be required to ensure that this obligation is still being met. North Carolina, like other states, follows specific guidelines when calculating child support payments. This helps ensure that both parents will continue to contribute equitably to this crucial responsibility, irrespective of custody determinations.
Because child support is so dependent on the income of each parent, trying to determine an “average” child support payment for 2023 would be unproductive. The minimum payment is $50 per child, per month, but children with one or more high-income parents can potentially be awarded over two thousand dollars per payment.
It becomes clear, then, that understanding the factors that go into child support calculations can be more useful than trying to calculate an average payment. Those factors include:
The specifics of how these variables are used to calculate a payment amount can be somewhat opaque, but the court’s method starts with a simple comparative assessment of each parent’s income. This ratio will be the first factor in deciding how much each parent should contribute to their child’s expenses.
For example, if one parent earns far more than the other, but has the children for fewer nights per month, they will likely be required to pay child support to the other parent so that their financial contribution is aligned with their earning capability. This helps to ensure that the child has a consistent level of resources available, regardless of which parent they’re staying with.
A: There is no set amount of child support that is awarded in all cases. The amount of money in each child support payment will be primarily informed by each parent’s income, so there is no flat “per child” rate. Each case will be different, and there is a massive variance in actual payment amounts.
A: Child support is a complex subfield of family law. Although there is a general rule for calculating payments, each child support case is unique and decided based on the specific situation. For detailed guidance about specific child support issues, it’s wise to consult directly with a Monroe, NC, Child Support Attorney who has experience in child support determination cases.
A: Yes, in some instances. Sharing custody of your children after a North Carolina divorce does not free you from the obligation of financially supporting your child. For example, if each parent has the child for an equal 15 nights per month, the higher-earning parent would still likely be ordered to pay child support to the lesser-earning parent. That way, the child’s quality of life is stable and consistent from day to day, regardless of which parent they are currently staying with.
A: Yes. When courts calculate the payment amount for child support judgments, the income of each parent will be the single biggest factor. It’s important to remember that it won’t be the only factor, however. For example, the amount of time that each parent has the child(ren), as well as any special needs the child(ren) may have, can also be an important factor.
For matters as impactful and contentious as child support, having a reputable and successful legal team on your side can prove invaluable. When you choose Lehnhardt Price Family Law for representation, you are far more than just another case number. We have earned our reputation as a leading Monroe, NC, law firm by delivering excellent legal solutions that are custom-tailored to each client’s unique circumstances and goals.
Lehnhardt Price Family Law can offer dedicated guidance and powerful legal solutions throughout every phase of your divorce or separation, including child custody and child support determinations. When you choose us as your legal counsel, you can move forward through these difficult legal processes with full confidence, knowing that your legal team does not rest until they have delivered the most effective outcome for you and your family.
If you have additional questions about the legal processes pursuant to child support in North Carolina, or if you need powerful legal representation in a child support case, please reach out to our compassionate and knowledgeable staff to set up a consultation.