Charlotte Military Family Law Attorneys – Child Support
Assisting North Carolina service members with child support matters
Any divorce that involves child support is bound to be complicated. When one parent is in the military, a child support agreement may follow different rules and a parent may be afforded different allowances and protections than a civilian. Each branch of the service has policies in place to determine the amount of child support if you and the other parent are unable to come to mutual agreement.
It’s important to have informed guidance when it comes to issues of child custody, especially when you serve in the military. The Charlotte military family law attorneys at Epperson Law Group, PLLC have specialized experience with these types of cases and are pleased to answer any questions you may have. Our lead attorneys, James Epperson and Steve Ockerman, are both proud former U.S. Military JAG Corps officers and have decades of experience in North Carolina family law.
What are the rules and regulations regarding child support and military service members?
The most important thing to remember about child support and military members is that military members have the same responsibilities to support their children as civilian parents do. The courts determine child support based on a variety of factors outlined in the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines, including:
- Child custody arrangements
- Childcare costs
- Costs for any disabilities or medical conditions
- Education costs
- Income of both parents
- Number of dependent children
You can bring a child support action against a member of the military, but service members do have certain protections, including the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Once of the protections the SCRA provides is putting a temporary halt on any civil or domestic legal proceedings involving military personnel.
My military ex-spouse isn’t fulfilling their Charlotte child support obligations. How can I enforce it?
Enforcement of court orders can be different for military parents. In cases like these, the federal government is the military person’s employer, so if the other parent refuses to pay child support, you must request an enforcement order for the federal government to withhold a portion of their wages for child support. You can find out more information about this process at the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) website, or consult with our attorneys for details about your personal circumstances.
What are my child support obligations if I’m deployed or join the military?
Your child support obligations don’t change if you’re actively deployed or join the military. However, there are certain things you should take care of regarding child support responsibilities when joining active duty military service. These include:
- Informing your child’s other parent you are going to be deployed or joining the military and for how long
- Providing all relevant parties changes to your address, your income and health insurance coverage (especially if your children are on your insurance policy)
- Requesting an attorney review of your child support order in the event it may need a modification reflecting any new financial circumstances
- Signing a document authorizing release of information, if you’d like to designate an individual to speak on your behalf regarding your child support case
We understand that many service people cannot plan in advance for every type of scenario. Our Charlotte attorneys can work with you to ensure all details are covered.
What if I don’t know where the parent of my child is currently stationed?
If you’re unsure as to where the noncustodial parent of your child is currently stationed and need to serve a child support action, you can ask your local child support agency for assistance. Child support agencies can use something called the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) to locate parents in the armed forces. The local child support agency in Charlotte is located at 5800 Executive Center Drive, Suite 200.
You can also request assistance from the parent’s military branch. Generally, each branch of the military has a locator service to provide immediate family members or government officials with location information through the Department of Defense. You may need to provide information like the service member’s full name, Social Security number, date of birth, rank and last known duty station. It may take some time for the military to research their records. Our child support lawyers can help you with this process.
I am pregnant and the father of my child is on a military base overseas. How can I file for child support here in Charlotte?
Once you give birth, the first thing you should do is establish paternity. If the assumed father of your child acknowledges paternity, our attorneys can help you prepare a child support agreement according to North Carolina guidelines. As the father of your child is in the military, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service can withhold income for child support payments.
If the father will not acknowledge paternity, you may have to wait until he returns to the country to perform genetic testing.
Experienced Charlotte military family law and child support lawyers
When dealing with the military regarding family law issues, you may not always be able to get access to the information and people you need. Fortunately, the military divorce attorneys at Epperson Law Group, PLLC have years of experience working with service people in all types of family law situations. We’ll put our knowledge to work for your best interests. Talk to us today. Our offices are just minutes off the NC-16. To reserve a consultation with one of our lawyers in Charlotte, Boone, or Weddington, please call 704-321-0031 or fill out our contact form.