There is a common misconception that fathers somehow have fewer legal rights across the board than mothers. This is simply untrue under the law, and it is likely based on anecdotal stories, outdated legal concepts, or just bad information. This is no gender difference when it comes to the issue of child support. Therefore, when we get a question from male clients about whether they are entitled to child support, the answer is exactly the same as when a female client asks the same question: We need to dig a little deeper.
Child Support in North Carolina is Not Gender-Based
North Carolina utilizes an “income shares” method of calculating child support obligations that is based on the theory that both parents have a legal duty to support their child or children. Courts will therefore consider factors like the relative income of each parent, child-related expenses like childcare and health insurance, as well as the custodial arrangement of the parents.
Significantly, none of these factors are related to the gender of the parent. A court has no legal basis to look at whether it is a father or mother seeking child support, but instead, the court looks at who has more overnight visits with the child each year, in combination with the theoretical family unit’s income, and the child’s expenses. Again, the focus is on meeting the child’s financial needs.
Exercise Your Legal Rights as a Custodial Father
If you are a father who has primary custodial rights to your children, then you should speak with an attorney about obtaining child support because: (1) both parents have a legal obligation to financially support their children; and (2) a custodial father has every right to obtain child support payments for the support of their children. You have legal rights as a father, and it is in your children’s interest to exercise those rights.
New Direction Family Law
Fathers have legal rights when it comes to their children. If you are a father and are interested in child custody or child support, contact New Direction Family Law for a consultation. We will listen to you, evaluate your situation, and provide you with the information you need to make decisions about your future. You deserve respect and we will make sure that your legal interests are served. If you need help, contact New Direction Family Law at (919) 719-3470 to schedule an appointment or visit our website.
Carly G. Baker
New Direction Family Law