Child Support Attorney in Gastonia, North Carolina
Both parents of children in North Carolina are responsible for providing financial support to that child. It doesn’t matter how the parents feel about one another, the current relationship, or under what circumstances the child was conceived or adopted. What matters in the eyes of the law is the child.
If you want to establish a child support arrangement with the parent who is not providing adequate or regular child support, The Law Office of Eddie L. Meeks, PLLC, can help. If you have an existing child support order issued by the court but want to modify it, I can help you explore those options as well.
If you or your child lives in Gastonia, Hickory, Lincolnton, or Charlotte, North Carolina, call my office to schedule a time to talk about child support and your child.
How Does North Carolina Calculate Child Support?
North Carolina has established a baseline of child support calculated by multiple factors. Although used by the court in deciding child support amounts, the court has some latitude in the actual sum ordered. Some children have needs that require more support than the baseline, and some parents are simply unable to pay even the base sum because they don’t make enough income to provide it.
Typically, the parent without primary physical custody of the child pays the custodial parent the child support ordered. That is because the custodial parent is assumed to provide financial support. After all, the child lives with them most of the time.
The income of both parents is a factor in the child support calculation, as is the time each parent spends with the child as evidenced by the custody arrangement and parenting plan. The number of children, the cost of childcare, health insurance premiums, and special expenses, for example, for a child with special needs also figure into the calculation.
Some parents attempt to avoid paying child support or support in the amount they should pay by voluntarily becoming unemployed or underemployed so they can report little to no income. The court, however, will use a parent’s imputed income in these instances. Imputed income is the amount the parent should be making from a job. The intent is to prohibit parents from getting out of what they should be providing for their children.
Can an Existing Child Support Arrangement Be Changed?
Things in life change all the time, which is why child support arrangements can be modified in response to them. There are two important considerations here. First, a child support arrangement is a court order, and only the court can issue a new order. Second, if you have requested a child support modification, the existing order is in place until a new one is issued. The person paying support must comply with the order in the meantime.
Some life-changing events that may qualify for a modification of an existing child support order include the involuntary loss of a job, serious medical issues, a change in the child’s needs, or significant changes in the child custody agreement. For example, if the child begins to spend more time with the paying parent than the recipient parent, the support agreement may warrant modification. Consulting with a child support lawyer is a smart first step if you think the existing child support order should be modified. An experienced lawyer will anticipate whether the court is likely to act based on the circumstances you present.
When Does Child Support End?
Termination of child support occurs when the child reaches the age of majority, which is 18 in North Carolina, or until the age of 19 if the child is still in high school. Termination also occurs if the child joins the military, marries, or becomes a legally emancipated minor before age 18. Of course, child support also terminates upon the death of the minor child.
Child Support Attorney
Serving Gastonia, North Carolina
Child support is all about the child, but as my client, I advocate for you as the child’s parent. Child support is often a contentious issue, so you will benefit from the guidance and knowledge of a seasoned family law attorney. Let my firm, The Law Office of Eddie L. Meeks, PLLC, help you with establishing or modifying a child support arrangement. I proudly serve clients in Gastonia, Hickory, Lincolnton, and Charlotte, North Carolina.