Child support ensures the financial well-being of minors after a separation or divorce. In North Carolina, specific guidelines determine a parent’s payment amount.
This guide explores the key factors state courts consider to calculate child support.
North Carolina bases child support calculations on the parents’ gross incomes. The total includes wages, bonuses, commissions, rental income and other sources. You must provide accurate and complete income information during child support proceedings.
The state changed the guidelines in 2023 for stay-at-home parents. Previously, the court entered their income as zero until the children turned 3. Now the judge assigns an income amount to parents who stay home based on North Carolina’s minimum wage.
Basic Child Support Obligation calculation
The court enters parental income into the Basic Child Support Obligation calculation. BCSO also considers the number of children and the combined income of both parents. North Carolina provides a Child Support Guidelines Worksheet to help with these calculations.
North Carolina has two primary custody arrangements: sole custody and shared custody. In shared custody, both parents have the child for at least 123 overnights per year. In this case, the court may adjust the child support amount to account for each parent’s time with the child.
Childcare and health insurance costs
Child support also includes childcare expenses and health insurance costs. If one parent pays for these expenses, the court adds the amounts to the BCSO. The court may also consider extraordinary medical expenses not covered by insurance.
The court may deviate from the calculated amount in some cases. Factors may include:
- Special needs of the child
- Educational expenses
- Travel costs for visitation
- Unusual parenting time arrangements
- Income of new spouses or significant others
The state’s child support guidelines prioritize the child’s best interests. Cooperating by providing accurate financial information allows the court to fairly consider all factors in your case.