How much child support did you say I have to pay?
You are no longer in a relationship with the other parent of your children. The two of you have tried your best to ensure the children do not feel the turmoil and animosity between the parents. Hopefully, the two of you have even created a workable parenting arrangement to ensure the needs of your children are met. But then the other parent says something that does not just sit right. Maybe she commented about how you are horrible at disciplining the children! Or maybe he cut your daughter’s hair way too short! And at some point, attorneys are consulted by both parents and the courts have to step in. One thing neither of you realized, the Court has very strict rules on some parts of your custody dispute. One of those primary rules has to do with the child support amount one parent will pay to the other.
To begin, let me bring some clarity to how child support works in North Carolina. Well I’m the mother, I don’t have to pay child support. Wrong. Well I have a really high mortgage payment, so I won’t have to pay a large child support amount. Wrong. Okay, well I’m contributing to a savings account for the children’s college expenses and therefore I will only have to pay a little or no child support. Wrong again. Child support is not based on whether you are the mother or the father, it is not based on your bills generally, and it is not based on money that you are putting toward the children’s college expenses. Rather, child support in North Carolina is primarily based on the incomes of each parent and the custody arrangement defined by overnights. Other factors included in the calculation include work-related childcare expenses, health insurance, and other extraordinary expenses that a judge deems applicable.
This means that generally, in North Carolina, if the parents have an equal amount of overnights per year with the children, then the parent with the higher income will pay a certain amount of child support to the other parent. In general, if one parent has no overnights with the child, then his/her child support obligation will be higher than if that parent had at least a few overnights with the child per year. Furthermore, the child support amount drastically changes should one parent have less than 123 overnights with the minor child. Finally, the child support calculator is only applicable if the parent’s combined gross income is less than $25,000.00 per month (or $300,000.00 per year). In circumstances in which the gross income is greater than this amount, the judge will determine an amount based on the needs of the children and the specific circumstances of the parties. Be careful with agreeing to just any child support amount and consult with a family law attorney first to ensure the proper numbers are put into the calculation.