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Child support is likely a top concern if you’re going through a separation or divorce. How will you afford to care for your children? What if the other parent isn’t willing to pay what is fair? A child support lawyer can help you negotiate a child support agreement that meets your children’s needs. They can also help you enforce child support payments if the other parent falls behind. Let’s look at how a child support lawyer can help you with child support.

What is Child Support? 

Child support is a payment from one parent to the other for the support of their child or children. The state of North Carolina calculates child support by using a formula taking into account both parents’ incomes and the number of overnights each child spends with each parent.

Other factors come into play, though. Let’s delve into more factors the court will look at to determine child support amounts.

Calculation of Child Support in North Carolina

The North Carolina child support formula considers several factors to arrive at the appropriate child support amount. These include:

  • Income of both parents
  • Number of overnights each child spends with each parent
  • Cost of health insurance for the children
  • Cost of childcare
  • Extraordinary expenses for the children (such as private school tuition)

If you are going through a divorce or separation, it is essential to have an experienced child support lawyer on your side. They can help you ensure that the child support agreement is fair and that your negotiations take your children’s needs into account.

A family law attorney can help you understand how the judicial court system in NC calculates child support and what factors they may consider. For example, if you are self-employed, the court may estimate your income based on your past earnings or earning potential. A lawyer can help explain how this works and ensure that any negotiations accurately represent your needs.

Who Pays Child Support in North Carolina?

In general, the non-custodial parent is responsible for paying child support. The custodial parent is the parent with whom the child lives most of the time.

However, in some cases, the court may order child support to be paid by the custodial parent. When this happens, the custodial parent typically has a much higher income than the non-custodial parent. A family law attorney can help you understand how child support works in your specific situation and what you can expect.

Can I Get Help if the Other Parent Won’t Pay Child Support?

If the other parent falls behind on child support payments, you can take legal action to enforce the child support order. Your family law attorney is your best resource to get child support payments back on track. However, the state also provides services at North Carolina Child Support Services. The state’s services include:

  • Locating the other parent 
  • Establishment of paternity
  • Establishment or modification of child support orders
  • Enforcement of child support orders
  • Collection and processing of child support ordered payments

The North Carolina child support enforcement agency (CSEA) can help you collect child support payments that the other parent owes. A family law attorney can help you take legal action to collect child support. In some cases, you’ll need to work with your attorney to file a contempt of court action against the other parent.

How Can a Child Support Lawyer Help Me?

A child support lawyer can help you negotiate the best outcome during your separation and divorce. They can help you understand how a court will calculate child support and what factors they will consider. Your attorney can give you an idea of how much child support you may expect to receive.

They can also help you negotiate a child support agreement with the other parent that meets your children’s needs. Working with your family law attorney before the divorce happens makes the most sense. The mandatory separation period in North Carolina is generally the optimum time to settle on child support needs.

Negotiating a fair agreement with your spouse ensures that the court will understand where you stand when they finalize the divorce agreements. Without agreeing beforehand, a judge will likely make a ruling on child support that may be hard to modify later.

Down the road, if the other parent falls behind on child support payments, a lawyer can also help you take legal action to enforce the child support order. If you are facing divorce or separation, consider talking to a child support lawyer to learn more about how they can help you in your specific situation.

Plekan Law Can Help

At Plekan law, our family law attorneys work to protect your rights and ensure your child’s best interests. We understand how family law negotiations work in North Carolina and can help you work out a fair child support agreement.

If you are facing divorce or separation, contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced family law attorneys. We can help you understand your rights and options under North Carolina law and work to protect your interests. Schedule a consultation with an experienced child support lawyer at Plekan Law and find out how we can help you get the best outcome for your children!

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