Child Support

Durham-Chapel Hill-Raleigh Firm Led By Board Certified Child Support Lawyer

Serving the Triangle Area

In North Carolina, child support is based upon several factors, including your gross income, the number of children you support, health insurance costs and any extraordinary expenses your child may have. Led by one of only a few practicing attorneys in Durham County to be board certified by the North Carolina Board of Legal Specialization as a family law specialist, we have a combined fifty years of experience serving clients in Durham-Chapel Hill. Ellis Family Law can guide you through the process used to determine child support.

Your child custody and visitation agreement can affect how much child support you are entitled to receive or are obligated to pay. North Carolina uses three child support guidelines:

  • Worksheet A is used when one parent has the child less than 123 overnights during a year.
  • Worksheet B is used when each parent has the child at least 123 overnights during a year and there is a true sharing of expenses.
  • Worksheet C is used when there is more than one child and the children live with different parents.

The amount of child support determined by the worksheet is presumed to be reasonable. You can deviate from that amount. However, you must prove that the amount of support calculated is not reasonable because: a) it either exceeds or does not meet the needs of your child, or b) due to extreme circumstances, you do not have the ability to pay that amount. Deviations are rarely granted.

When the Guidelines Do Not Apply

The presumptive guidelines are presumed to be fair and are normally applied. However, if the needs of the children exceed or cannot be met by the presumptive guideline amount, a party may file a motion to deviate from the guidelines. Also, if the parents combined incomes exceed $25,000 gross per month, the actual needs of the children, their accustomed standard of living and the parents' abilities to pay support are considered by the court to determine a fair child support amount. Remember, both parents have a duty of child support. The child is not simply the financial responsibility of the non-custodial parent.

North Carolina Child Support Guidelines

When Child Support Can Be Changed

  • Either the payor or the recipient of child support is entitled to a recalculation every three years. If the recalculation results in a 15 percent difference in child support, the court will modify your child support to the new amount.
  • If you have an involuntary change in circumstances − such as job loss or being forced to take a lower paying job − you can get a modification of child support. However the change in your circumstances cannot be voluntary.

For more information about child support: Call Ellis Family Law at 919-688-9400 or fill out the contact form on this site.

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