In nearly every case of divorce in which the couple has shared children, the judge will require one parent to pay child support. Typically, this is the noncustodial parent paying the custodial parent, but also in cases of joint custody, too. Rather than just arbitrarily assigning a monthly dollar amount, the judge must follow the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines or provide a reason for deviation from the child support guidelines. To help you estimate how much you may be required to pay and to give you a better idea of how support is determined, our child custody attorneys in Raleigh are sharing some tips on how to use the NC child support calculator.
Understanding Child Support Guidelines
As we mentioned, a majority of child support cases are determined by the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines. The first step to calculating support amounts is determining which is appropriate to use for your unique situation. There are three worksheets that are available including the following:
- Worksheet A – this worksheet is appropriate for cases involving sole custody, meaning one party has the children the majority of the year, and the other parent has the children less 123 days per year
- Worksheet B – this worksheet is appropriate for cases involving joint custody, meaning that each parent has the children for at least 123 overnights per year
- Worksheet C – this worksheet is appropriate for cases involving split custody, meaning that the custodial schedules for the children of the same parents differ, such as when the custody of children are split with one parent having primary physical custody of one child and the other parent having primary physical custody of the other child.
NC worksheet B is the most commonly used option in North Carolina, because it reflects that more parents are gaining equitable time with their children. After the proper child support worksheet is selected, each party’s monthly income from all sources is entered into worksheet. Other information relevant to the child support calculator includes:
- How time is divided between the parents;
- Health, dental and vision insurance costs for the children;
- Additional health care costs for the children;
- Work related child care expenses, such as daycare costs;
- Responsibility for other children born outside the relationship between you and they other party;
- Extraordinary expenses such as private school tuition; and
- Any other information and expenses that may be allowable under North Carolina child support law.
Child Support During Joint Custody
There's a common misconception that parents who have joint custody and equal custody schedules won't have to pay child support. However, that's not always the case. If there is a large income differential between the two parties as well as the cost of expenses paid on behalf of the minor child, one parent may still make a child support payment to the other.
Using the NC Child Support Calculator
The only way to know approximately how much child support one is entitled to pay the other party is to utilize the NC child support calculator. The accuracy of the child support calculation is dependent on the accuracy of the information that is entered into it. The most difficult variable to determine is usually the party’s “true” income, particularly in situations where the party is self employed or typically paid on a cash basis.
To get an estimate of your payment, please use the North Carolina Child Support Calculator. It's important to note that the court would award child support based on their determination of what the correct figures are to input into the calculation, so our calculation may be different from what you may be awarded in court. Further, under certain circumstances, the Court may deviate from the amounts set in the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines.
Consult with a Child Support Attorney in Raleigh Today
If you have concerns about how much child support you may be required to pay, reach out to The Doyle Law Group, P.A. Our team of experienced family attorneys will help you understand the child support guidelines and how they apply to you. Reach out to us today at 919-301-8843 or fill out the contact form below.