Guidelines for Child Support
North Carolina General Statutes § 50-13.4 outlines actions related to child support, including guidelines for the amount of child support that will be owed. When calculating child support, the following are taken into consideration:
- The income of both parents
- The number of children involved
- Custodial time (i.e., joint, primary, or split custody)
- Other related expenses, like transportation fees, daycare costs, or tuition for schools that meet a child’s specific needs
These guidelines apply to families who make less than $30,000 a month. When the parents’ combined gross income exceeds $30,000 per month, the determination guidelines are different and will rely on the court.
Child Support Worksheets in North Carolina
Child support is awarded to meet the needs of a child’s health, education, and maintenance. Calculating child support involves the use of one of three worksheets.
Worksheet A is used when one parent has primary physical custody of the child, which is when the child lives with a custodial parent for 243 nights or more annually. You should not use Worksheet A in instances where:
- the parents share custody of one or more children (use Worksheet B)
- the parents share custody of two or more children (use Worksheet C)
Worksheet B is used when:
- parents share custody of all children for whom support is being sought, or
- one parent has primary physical custody of one or more kids and the parents have shared custody of another child. Parents share custody of their child when the child lives with each parent for at least 123 nights of the year and the parents share financial obligations when the child is in their care.
Worksheet C is used when both parents share primary physical custody. In this case, split custody means one parent has primary custody of at least one of the children who need financial support and the other parent has primary custody of the other child or children.
It is important to note that primary or shared physical custody is not determined with regards to primary, shared, or joint legal child custody. For help with which worksheet to complete, you should speak with a reliable attorney at our office.
Calculating Your Child Support
Once you determine which worksheet to use, you can input your information into our child support calculator to get an idea of what your obligation will be. The accuracy of the results depends on the accuracy of the information you input as well as if you used the correct worksheet. Our attorneys can help you get an estimation of your support obligations by:
- Ensuring you have all the information you need when using the support calculator
- Ensuring you complete the worksheet that applies to your case
- Advising you of what you can expect as your case proceeds
- Answering any questions you may have about potential changes to the calculated support obligations
Be advised: Courts can opt to deviate from the calculated support payments the worksheet yields. Based on evidence and findings concerning the child’s reasonable needs and each parent’s ability to provide support, the courts can find that the support obligations:
- would not meet or exceed the child’s needs with regard to the parent’s financial capabilities, or
- would be otherwise unjust or inappropriate.
In the event they deviate from the guidelines, the court must provide a written statement that includes the following information:
- Support owed based on the guidelines
- Child’s needs and the capabilities of each parent to provide support
- Findings that support the court’s belief that the calculated amount is insufficient, excessive, or unjust
- Basis on which the court determined the child support orders
We understand how taxing and complex child support cases can be. If you need help, you can trust our qualified attorneys to advocate for you. Whether you are the anticipated payee or payor, we can work alongside you to protect your interests while ensuring your child(ren) have the financial support they need. Reach out to us online or at (704) 659-0007.