Parents sometimes misunderstand child support as a payment the higher earning parent must make to the custodial parent. In reality, it is a payment made to the child through the custodial parent. Financial support from both parents is every child’s right. Further, child support can be established even if the parents share equal 50-50 custody, if one of the parents has more income.
Courts usually calculate child support using a formula that considers child custody arrangements, each parent’s income, and other relevant factors. If changes to your personal circumstances require a change in the amount of child support you pay or receive, you could modify your child support order. However, courts are reluctant to change child support arrangements absent good cause.
Consult a Kernersville child support modification lawyer if you are concerned about meeting your child support obligations or believe you are entitled to more child support. A child support attorney at Apple Payne Law can examine your situation, explain your legal options, and petition a court to modify child support.
The goal of child support is to meet the child’s reasonable needs for food, shelter, clothing, education, and medical care. Courts try to ensure that children enjoy a standard of living similar to what they would have if their parents lived together. Accordingly, courts typically apply a formula to calculate the presumptive child support.
A court could deviate from the guidelines if circumstances require. Courts might order more support than the guidelines call for if one or both of the parents have abundant resources. A court might order higher payments if a child has special needs, gifts, or talents. Other factors that influence the basic child support payment include:
Parents must pay child support until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever happens later. Support obligations could continue until the child turns 20 in some circumstances. A Kernersville child support modification attorney at Apple Payne Law can advise a parent about whether obligations might continue after their child reaches age 18.
A parent may seek to modify child support after three years if the required amount is 15 percent more or less than the amount a parent is currently paying. If the parents agree to the change, they can submit a revised child support agreement to the court. The judge will review it to ensure that the support will meet the child’s reasonable needs and if it does, will sign it and issue it as an official, enforceable court order.
If the parents disagree on a revised child support arrangement, or if less than three years have passed since the most recent support order, the parent seeking the change must file a petition to modify with the court. North Carolina General Statute §50-13.7 requires the petition to explain the substantial change in circumstance that merits changing the child support obligation. Situations that could constitute a substantial change include:
Even when a parent establishes a substantial change, a judge does not have to grant a modification. A Kernersville family lawyer can help a parent prepare or defend a petition to modify a child support order. A legal professional can ensure the judge understands the parent’s viewpoint regarding their child’s reasonable needs.
Modifying child support orders can be complicated. Sometimes parents disagree about whether a modification is warranted. Seek advice from a legal professional if you or your co-parent wishes to modify your child support order.
Working with a Kernersville child support modification lawyer is the surest path to a favorable outcome. Schedule a consultation with Apple Payne Law today to get started.