One of the biggest areas of contention between divorcing spouses is the children. Will the parents get joint custody or will one parent get sole custody? What about visitation? While these are important questions and have a lot of bearing on the happiness of a child, these aren’t the only questions that arise.
Other questions pertaining to child custody have to do with child support payments. This is where things can get very sticky. Some parents aren’t happy with the court’s decision and think that what they have to pay is unfair. Many have been tempted to quit making child support payments altogether. Not only can this affect the welfare of a child, it can put the parent in a lot of trouble with the law.
To feel more confident about the court’s decision about child support, it may be helpful to look at how the court makes their decisions.
North Carolina Child Support Laws
The Conference of Chief District Judges is obliged to prescribe uniform, statewide requirements regarding how to determine the obligations of parents when it comes to child support. They are required to do this in accordance with the North Carolina General Statutes, Section 50-13.4. These statutes also state that the Conference of Chief District Judges has to review the child support obligations that have been put into place at least once in a four year period. This review will provide valuable input as to whether the obligations set forth are still valid and practical.
When a judge is determining each child custody and support case, they will refer to these guidelines and obligations. One of the things they have to take into consideration the income levels of the parents.
Low Incomes are Taken into Consideration
Many low income parents are concerned that they will not be able to afford to pay child support. On the flip side, the parent receiving the payments may be the low income parent and may be worried about whether they will receive fair payments or not.
The court is required to take these things into consideration. There is no one-size-fits-all amount when it comes to child support. If the parent who needs to make payments is at or below the average poverty level for North Carolina, they will be required to pay the minimum of $50.00 per month. However, if they make more money, the amount to be paid will be adjusted.
When Both Parents Have High Incomes
There are some cases where parents have a high combined income. In North Carolina, the combined income would be over $25,000.00 per month to be considered high. Support payments are based on the educational and medical needs of the child, as well as their accustomed standard of living.
If you’re concerned with the child support decision that may be made in your case, contact the office of John C. Fitzpatrick. We’ll be happy to discuss in more detail the child support laws of North Carolina and see if there is anything more that can be done to ensure a fair outcome.