While child support claims often arise within the context of custody disputes, claims for establishing or modifying child support may also be raised independently of a custody matter. As with child custody, the parties can reach an agreement on child support outside of court, and without the intervention of child support enforcement. Other cases may require a court hearing so that a judge can decide the matter either in child support court or family court.
North Carolina has child support guidelines that can simplify the process of determining child support obligations for parties whose combined adjusted gross income is $300,000 per year or less. However, there can be major controversy even in cases that fall within the child support guidelines. For example, there may be a dispute over a party’s income, such as if a party is self-employed or receives cash payments. In cases in which the child support guidelines do not apply, or there is another reason to deviate from the guidelines, the court must conduct a hearing to determine child support unless the parties can reach an agreement outside of court. Hearings to determine child support can be lengthy and may require extensive evidence to be presented regarding incomes, income earning ability, expenses, standard of living, and other relevant factors.
Regardless of your situation, the attorneys at Siemens Family Law Group will work hard on your behalf to ensure that your legal and financial interests are protected, and that child support is reasonable and adequate to meet the needs of your children. Our family law attorneys can assist you in making an initial determination of child support, seeking an increase or reduction in an existing child support obligation, or defending against a modification claim.
Visit our Family Law Blog for more information on child support in North Carolina.