Charlotte Child Support Attorneys
Answering important questions about North Carolina child support issues
Issues involving divorce and children can often be complex and thorny. Every parent wants to do the best they can for their children, but often they may disagree on what exactly that is. Especially with matters of child custody and support, what’s best for the child can get lost in disagreement and emotion. However, the bottom line is that both parents have a responsibility to financially support and contribute to their child’s upbringing.
If you’re going through a divorce or separation and have questions or concerns about child support, the Charlotte family law attorneys at Epperson Law Group, PLLC have answers. Our lawyers have a wealth of experience with all types of child support matters and are happy to speak to you about your personal situation today.
How do the courts determine child support?
The court determines child support based on a number of factors as outlined in the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines.* These factors include things like:
- Income of both parents
- Child custody arrangements
- Number of dependent children
- Childcare costs
- Health insurance costs
- Education costs
- Costs for any disabilities or medical conditions
*Note these guidelines apply only to families whose income is less than $300,000 per year. In high net worth divorce cases, judges have much wider discretion when determining child support orders.
Every child support case, like every child, is unique. However, our attorneys work with you to calculate what you might be likely to receive or pay. And, if this is not in your child’s best interests, we will work with you to help improve the outcome.
Who pays child support if my ex and I have joint custody?
Joint custody doesn’t negate the need for child support on either side. Even if both parents share custody with their child on an equitable basis, one parent will owe some amount of child support to the other. The state’s child support guidelines are specific in how child support should be determined and awarded, but the child’s best interests are always the priority.
When you have joint or shared custody, child support can be awarded to one parent – as long as circumstances warrant it. Each parent’s income, contributions toward childcare, health insurance and other child-related expenses are all taken into consideration by the court.
What do my Charlotte child support payments cover?
Every child’s needs are different, so every child support agreement will be different. However, all of our basic needs are the same. Child support payments will help cover expenses for your child’s:
- Health insurance
- Extracurricular activities
- Other expenses related to their emotional and physical health
Additionally, if a child has specific educational needs, payments can also include support for private or special schooling. Some agreements may also include life insurance, support beyond the age of 18 or college tuition, if the parents choose to do so.
How long do child support payments continue?
In the majority of cases, child support payments continue until your child reaches the age of 18, or when the child becomes emancipated. If a child turns 18 while they’re still in high school, the court may order payments to continue until age 20, if satisfactory progress is being made toward graduation. Child support may not continue past the age of 20 unless a voluntary arrangement has been made between both parents.
Child support payments can also be changed or modified through a court order if circumstances have significantly changed.
Can I get child support even if we were never married?
North Carolina law requires parents to support their children, regardless of their marital status. If the acknowledged parent of a child is refusing to provide child support, our Charlotte attorneys can help you obtain a court order. Some unmarried parents may also need to work through paternity legal proceedings before they can move on to child support resolution. We can give you the answers you need.
If my ex doesn’t honor my visitation rights, can I stop making child support payments?
Absolutely not. Under North Carolina law, child custody and child support are unrelated, so holding one in an attempt to get the other can result in stiff penalties. Your child support agreement is typically part of your divorce settlement, or worked out via court order. Even if your ex-spouse or the other parent won’t honor their part of the custody agreement, that doesn’t relieve you of making your court-ordered payments.
In fact, penalties from failing to make child support payments can include:
- Contempt of court charges
- Legal action for breach of contract
- Wage garnishment
- Financial penalties
Until your child support payments end or your support plan is modified, you must make your payments on time and in full.
If your ex is refusing to make child support payments, talk to us about Charlotte child support enforcement.
Your Charlotte child support attorney can help
Most child support cases aren’t simple. They can be messy and complex, with many complicated income forms and paperwork to fill out. Our legal team has decades of experience in family law and we’re familiar with how the process works – inside and out. Our only priority is the best interests of your child and that all their needs are taken care of during this trying time in your lives.
Dedicated and honest Charlotte child support lawyers
If you need quality and skilled representation for child support and custody issues, the attorneys at Epperson Law Group, PLLC are ready to talk. Our family law attorneys dedicate their work to protecting the rights of children and families during difficult times, and advocating for their best interests. We’re just across the road from the Home Depot off Ballantyne Commons Parkway. To reserve a consultation at one of our offices in Charlotte, Boone, or Weddington, please call 704-321-0031 or fill out our contact form.