How is Child Support Calculated?

In Child Support by Sarah Hink

In North Carolina, both parents have a legal obligation to financially support their children. For parents who have a combined gross income of less than $300,000, this obligation is calculated based on the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines. If you are separating from or divorcing the other parent of your children, or if you are seeking to modify child support, you will need this information to obtain a temporary or permanent child support order.

Child Support is Calculated Using Worksheets

Child support is calculated using one of following three worksheets, depending on the custody arrangement of the children.

  • Child Support Worksheet A. This sheet is used when one parent has “primary physical custody of all of the children for whom support is being determined.” A parent with primary custody will fall on this worksheet if he/she has more than 242 custodial overnights with the minor children a year. The numbers this worksheet takes into account are the parents’ monthly income, pre-existing child support obligations, work-related child care costs, health insurance costs, and extraordinary expenses. These extraordinary expenses may be private school and transportation costs.
  • Child Support Worksheet B. This sheet is used when parents have joint or shared custody of any of the children, with the secondary parent having more than 123 custodial overnights a year. Child support obligations become different when parents share physical custody of children because daily child-related expenses increase when there are overnight visits. This worksheet accounts for monthly gross income, pre-existing child support obligations, child-care costs, health insurance premiums, extraordinary expenses, and significantly, the number of overnight visits the children have with each parent.
  • Child Support Worksheet C. This worksheet is for the rare circumstance of split custody (or joint physical custody) of two children. This means that the children spend an equal amount of overnights at each parent’s house. Worksheet C accounts for monthly income, pre-existing child support payments, child care costs, health insurance payments, and extraordinary expenses.

These worksheets determine the combined adjusted gross income of the family, which is then compared to a pre-existing chart that sets basic monthly child support obligations (based on the number of children in the relationship). After determining this “presumptive” child support obligation, the court has the authority to deviate from the guideline amount and either increase or decrease the child support obligation. However, this is not the norm and must be supported by specific written findings by the court

Are you separating from your child’s other parent? Are you seeking child support? New Direction Family Law has provided more than a decade of legal advocacy for clients in the areas of separation, divorce, and child custody. Your children’s financial security and well-being are important to us and we want to help you protect them. Call our office today at (919) 719-3470 to schedule a consultation, or contact us at our website.

Sarah J. Hink

New Direction Family Law

New Direction Family Law

(919) 719-3470