Every parent owes a financial duty to their child(ren). North Carolina has a formulaic approach to determining an appropriate amount of child support which takes into account the custody arrangement, each parent’s monthly gross income, and several other factors. This formula has been plugged into convenient online calculators so that you can easily determine the presumptive amount of child support that you may owe or be owed.
Child Support Worksheets
If your children reside primarily with one parent, use Worksheet A. Put otherwise, use Worksheet A if one parent has the children for less than 135 nights per year. If your children spend at least 135 nights with each parent during the year, use Worksheet B. If you have multiple children who spend different nights with each parent, use Worksheet C (this is less common). It is important to consult with a North Carolina attorney to ensure that you are using the correct worksheet and are properly interpreting and completing these worksheets.
High Income Cases
If you and the other parent’s combined gross monthly income exceeds $30,000, you are considered outside the scope of these worksheets. Child Support in high income situations is based on the needs of the children. This may sound simple but, like most family law issues, it usually is not.
Expenses Outside of Child Support
In addition to the monthly child support amount, you will also need to determine how to split extra expenses such as uninsured medical bills, extracurricular activities, private school tuition, “privilege” items (such as electronics or a car), and college. Further, you will need to decide who will claim the children for any applicable tax benefit. There are certain presumptions that apply to these extra expenses and tax benefits depending on your custody arrangement, so you may want to discuss how to handle these issues with an experienced attorney.