Even in the most straightforward divorces, things can quickly become contentious.  This is especially true when children are involved. Parents suddenly do not see eye-to-eye and fights ensue about parenting methods, custodial time and child support. Determining child support is often a major concern for both parents.

In North Carolina, child support is determined via the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines for parents with a combined annual of income $360,000 or less. These guidelines provide three different worksheets the court can use to calculate child support:  Worksheet A, B and C.  Worksheet A is used when one parent has primary physical custody of the child or children. 

“Primary” means that the child lives with the parent at least 243 nights during the calendar year.  Worksheet B is used when both parents have custody of the minor child for at least 123 nights during the year. Worksheet C is when parents split primary custody of two or more children.

The North Carolina Child Support Guideline worksheets determine the amount of child support to be paid based on the income of both parties, the number of nights the child spends in each parent’s custody, work related childcare expenses, the costs of the minor child’s health insurance paid by the parties, and extraordinary expenses.

Extraordinary expenses can include expenses for the child’s educational needs such as attendance to a private school or expenses related to the child’s travel between parents.

For parents with a combined income higher than $360,000, child support obligations are determined by the courts after examining the reasonable needs of the child as well as several other factors including, but not limited to, education expenses, healthcare needs and costs, and the standard of living the child is accustomed to.

Assume that you and your ex-spouse have agreed upon an amount of child support.  Now envision that one or both of you wants to get remarried.  Does that change the amount of support that you pay or receive?  Generally, no, the amount of child support calculated will not change. However, there are certain situations in which child support may change after parties remarry. 

The specifics of your situation should be discussed with an attorney to determine what your options are.  To schedule a consultation, contact Allison Plekan of Plekan Law PLLC at (919) 653-1976.

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