- Family Law - 

Have Questions About Child Support?

Child Support is the amount of money that a non-custodial parent must pay to the custodial parent to assist in the financial support of the minor child or children. The parties can agree to the amount of child support in a separation agreement. Child support is generally calculated according to the North Carolina child support guidelines. If parents are unable to come to terms regarding support, then one or both parties may request a hearing in District Court so that a judge can make the award. Such an action must be brought in either the county where the parent or child resides or in the county where the child is physically present.

A judge will determine the amount of child support based on the child support guidelines and the reasonable needs of the child. Once a child support award has been set, it can only be modified based on a substantial change in circumstances, so it is important that a parent have his or her interests adequately represented by an attorney at the initial hearing.


Q: How does the Court determine what child support should be?
A: Child support is a mathematical equation determined by working with the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines take into consideration the physical custody arrangement (the number of nights the child spends with each parent), the income of both parents, the number of children, health insurance costs, before and after school care costs as well as any special financial needs of any of the children. Once these factors are known, child support can easily be determined.

Q: Can we agree on the amount of child support? 
A: Yes. If a Court determines child support, the Court will use the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines as described above. However, the parties may agree to a specific amount for child support, which will be binding on both parties. 

Q: Can I stop paying child support if my spouse is not letting me see my child? 
A: No. The remedy for not receiving the visitation ordered is to go back to court and let the judge decide whether your spouse is in contempt of court. 

 Q: Can I withhold visitation if my spouse is not paying child support? 
 A: No. The remedy for a spouse's failure to pay child support ordered by the court is to go back to court and let the judge determine whether your spouse is in contempt of court. If no child support has been ordered, you should file an action for child support.
For advice regarding divorce or family law, call 336-747-9800!
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