Pineville Child Support Lawyer

A Law Firm You Can Rely On

Parents have an obligation to provide financial support to their children. This duty to contribute financially to the child’s upbringing is separate from custody and visitation rights. In fact, a child has a right to their parent’s financial support even if they have no relationship with the parent.

Child support guidelines determine the minimum payment based on the parents’ incomes and other factors. Although the guidelines are meant to make the process transparent and fair, disputes over child support payments often arise.

If you are trying to create a child support arrangement with your co-parent, get support from an absent co-parent, or wish to modify or enforce an existing order, speak with a local family attorney today. A dedicated Pineville child support lawyer can explain your rights and obligations and help you achieve your child support goals.

Who Must Pay Child Support?

The right to child support rests with the child. That means both parents must contribute to their child’s well-being, even if the parent with primary physical custody does not need the money. Generally, parents must support their child until age 18 or high school graduation if the child is still in high school on their 18th birthday. The support obligation ends on the child’s 20th birthday if they are still in high school.

Married Parents

If you and your co-parent were married, child support will be a part of your separation agreement and your divorce settlement if you dissolve your marriage.

Unmarried Parents

An unwed father who acknowledges paternity also has a duty to pay child support. However, if a father did not acknowledge paternity and the mother wants to pursue financial support for her child, she must bring an action in court to establish legal paternity.

Child Support in Adoptions

Adoptive parents owe and can receive child support from adoptive co-parents. When a person with a child remarries or moves in with an intimate partner, it does not affect the co-parent’s child support obligation unless the parent’s new partner adopts the child. In that case, the adoptive parent is responsible for supporting the child.

Our trusted Pineville attorneys can help ensure you are aware of your rights and responsibilities regarding child support in your particular set of circumstances.

Calculating the Amount of a Child Support Payment

A formula determines the basic child support obligation. The law’s intention is that every child should receive roughly the same amount of financial support as they would if their parents were living together. The formula presumes parents in similar income brackets spend similar proportions of their income on their children.

The North Carolina Child Support Guidelines consider each parent’s income, how many minor children they have together, how many other children either parent must support, and how much time the children spend in each parent’s care. The guidelines factor in health insurance costs, childcare, and other expenses related to a child’s special health or educational needs.

The guidelines are often just a starting point to address the child’s basic needs. When parents have a low-income or support many children, the judge might allow a lower support payment if the paying parent demonstrates hardship. When parents have a higher income, the judge might award support in an amount sufficient to ensure the child’s standard of living does not suffer due to the parents living apart.

Child support guidelines can be confusing, but a Pineville child support attorney can assist you in determining the amount in your circumstances.

Post-Order Actions to Modify or Enforce Child Support

A child support order is an enforceable court order, meaning parents must adhere to it unless the court changes it.

If, after three years, the guidelines using current financial information would change the amount by 15 percent or more, you or your co-parent could petition to modify the amount of a child support payment. In addition, a substantial change in circumstances (such as a job loss or a child suffering a serious injury and requiring ongoing care) could also justify a request to modify child support.

When a parent fails to keep their payments current, the receiving parent could take legal action to enforce child support. For example, if the delinquent parent is employed, a Pineville child support attorney could seek a writ of execution. This would allow the court to direct the employer to take the payments directly out of the parent’s wages. Other options are available to obtain support payments from parents who are unemployed or self-employed.

Turn to a Pineville Attorney for Help with Child Support Issues

Child support is often a contentious issue between parents. When disputes arise, they could cause financial hardship in the family and emotional damage to the child.

Don’t let child support issues fester. Tackle them head-on, right away, for the best results for you and your children. Consult a Pineville child support lawyer today to learn more.

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