North Carolina Child Custody & Support
North Carolina courts prefer that parents work out the details of supporting and raising their children after a divorce. If, however, parents cannot agree, the courts will step in where necessary to make decisions that it deems are in the child’s are children’s best interests. Following are the laws governing North Carolina child custody and support.
North Carolina Child Custody:
Whenever possible, child custody and visitation issues are resolved in North Carolina through mediation between the parents. The purpose of this program is to reduce acrimony. The mediation is intended to develop custody and visitation agreements that are in the child's best interest, provide the parties with informed choices, and allow the parties to make decisions about child custody and visitation by providing a structured, non-adversarial setting that will facilitate resolution and reduce the re-litigation of custody and visitation disputes.
North Carolina Child Support:
Child support in North Carolina is determined in accordance with the Income Shares Model for child support, where each parent's income is considered in relative proportion. The support amounts calculated from each parent then help decide which parent must pay the other in order to maintain the correct proportion and provide for the needs of the child.
These guidelines are not always followed, but a decision to follow a different standard will require supportive evidence showing 1) all the factors that affect the parties financial obligations differently, and 2) how applying a standard other than the Income Shares Model will more effectively preserve the best interests of the child.
The factors that can be considered here are numerous, and include but are not limited to the following:
- Pre-dissolution or pre-separation standard of living that the child enjoyed
- Monetary support provided for other family members
- Debts arising during the marriage for the child's benefit
- Imputed income to a party who is voluntarily unemployed for the child's benefit
- Court-ordered payments for health care and education for the child's benefit
- Children's independent financial resources, if any
- Education, training, and/or career opportunities of the parties and/or ability to pursue those things
A lawyer can help you sort through your rights and responsibilities when it comes to childrearing after a divorce, and serve as your advocate and/or counsel when negotiating a parenting agreement. You can find a lawyer at:
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