Raleigh Child Support Lawyer

When you and your child’s other parent are co-parenting, it is up to both parents to ensure their children are financially supported. However, it is not unusual for parents to find child support and other family law matters particularly contentious.

If you need help implementing a child support order or have had a child support order taken out against you that you need to address, do not hesitate to contact a reputable Raleigh child support lawyer at Breeden Law Office.

Call us today at (919) 480-8005 or use our online contact form to reach out.

What is Child Support?

Child support refers to both parents’ financial obligation to ensure their children’s needs are met. This does not only include food, shelter, and clothing. It also includes health insurance, the costs of your child’s education, and other expenses that may arise along the way. Both parents do not necessarily need to pay the same amount of child support, but both parents must provide some financial support based on the child’s needs and each parent’s capabilities.

The North Carolina family courts use the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines to determine how much child support should be paid. Generally, the non-custodial parent or the parent the children do not primarily live with will pay child support to the custodial parent. However, using the child support worksheets can help determine how much you should request or pay once your child support order is implemented.

If your child’s other parent is seeking an excessive amount of child support payments, refusing to contribute financial support to their child’s upbringing, or is in violation of an existing child support order, a child support attorney in Raleigh at Breeden Law Office can help you resolve the issue and get your child the financial support they deserve.

What Factors Does the Court Consider When Determining Child Support?

North Carolina family courts consider multiple factors when determining how much child support should be ordered. Some examples of these factors include:

  • The child’s healthcare expenses
  • The child’s dental expenses
  • The cost of daycare or childcare
  • The child’s education expenses
  • The cost of providing food, clothing, and shelter
  • Utility and Internet expenses
  • Both parent’s incomes
  • Both parent’s expenses
  • Whether either parent has remarried
  • Whether either parent has other children
  • Both party’s standards of living
  • Whether one parent has to pay child support for another child

In cases where you and your spouse share custody of your children, child support may not be necessary or appropriate if both parents take care of the children equitably. However, if there is an income discrepancy or one parent refuses to contribute to the child’s upbringing, child support may be warranted.

Is Child Support Mandatory in North Carolina?

According to North Carolina child support laws, all parents are legally obligated to provide financial support for their children unless one parent’s rights have been legally terminated. Children must be financially supported by their parents until the child reaches the age of 18.

It should be noted that only the child’s biological or adoptive parents must provide financial support. Stepparents and other non-parents are not responsible for paying child support.

Parents who are not U.S. citizens are still required to pay child support if their children live in the United States. If you are unsure whether child support is mandatory in your case, you can discuss the details of your family law issues with your child support attorney in Raleigh.

How to Change Child Support Amounts

Child support may be mandatory, but that doesn’t mean their orders are set in stone. Child support payments can be modified if you can prove to the court that there has been a significant change in your circumstances. Some of the most common reasons to modify child support orders in Raleigh include the following:

  • Being terminated
  • Having your hours reduced
  • Being promoted
  • Suffering a severe injury
  • Having more children

Generally, North Carolina family courts will only agree to modify existing child support orders if one parent has experienced a minimum 15% change to their income.

However, if your attorney can show that your circumstances have changed so much that you are incapable of providing the existing child support amount, the court may find it appropriate to grant your modification request. Child support orders are generally only reviewable once three years have passed since the initial child support order was enacted or modified.

What is the Penalty for Not Paying Child Support?

It is more common than you might think for a parent who is ordered to pay child support to refuse to uphold their obligations. Thankfully, with help from your attorney, you can take action. To start, you can file a Motion for Order to Show Cause for Failure to Comply with a Child Support Order. Here, you are requesting that the North Carolina Family Court system hold your child’s other parent in contempt.

Parents in contempt of court may be sent to jail, have their wages garnished, or face additional court fines. However, if a parent has lost their job and is temporarily unable to make child support payments, they might file a modification request to adjust child support orders due to this change instead of requesting they be found in contempt.

Talk to a Raleigh Child Support Lawyer

Negotiating child support can be difficult when you and your child’s other parent cannot agree. Get the legal help you need to avoid having these major decisions taken out of your hands.

Reach out to a dedicated Raleigh child support lawyer at Breeden Law Office to protect yourself and your children. Fill out our convenient contact form or call our office at (919) 480-8005 to schedule your confidential case evaluation as soon as today.

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