How much is child support in NC? | LegaMart Articles
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How much is child support in NC?


Child support and Child Custody are the two major concerns after a divorce or a separation. The parent with primary custody will be responsible for maintaining the child, and all the child’s expenses will have to be suffered by the parent. Thus, it becomes essential to obtain child support to take care of the necessary expenses of the child. Child support can be a difficult and complex issue for families in North Carolina. While the state has laws to ensure that children receive the financial support they need, many families find themselves in a problematic situation regarding enforcing and collecting child support.

In North Carolina, both parents must provide child support. The child support would differ according to the circumstances of the case. The child support will include the child’s education, medical expenses, and much more. This article will explore the complexities of child support in North Carolina, including the laws and processes that must be followed to ensure that children receive the financial support they need. This article will let you know how much child support is in NC.

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What Is Child Support?

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This is a regular monthly payment made by a parent to benefit their child. Child support is made to support the daily needs of the child. Child support is made when parents are separated or not living together after a divorce or legal separation. Child support does not include emotional or mental support. Child support is usually paid by the non-custodial parent to the parent having custody of the child. It is not necessary that the parent paying the child support must have contact with the child.

Usually, it is presumed that both parents must share the child’s responsibility, so both parents must pay child support. The parent must contribute towards the child’s basic needs, such as food, clothing, shelter, health care, and education. Child support must be paid till the child reaches the age of 18. Child support varies according to the circumstances of the case. Child support is also issued in a temporary child custody order

Ways for Child Support

Child Support in NC can be arranged in several ways depending on the facts of the case. Generally, the parent who spends less time with the child is responsible for paying child support. Usually, the father is the one who ends up paying child support. Child support cannot be waived by any of the parents. The parents will not be responsible for paying child support if the child becomes emancipated.

Separation Agreement

Parents can enter into a separation agreement to determine the amount of child support in NC. Everything should be mentioned in the agreement, including the decisions regarding the essential aspects of the child as well as the child’s residence. The custody of the child is also to be decided by the separation agreement. The amount mentioned in the agreement can be changed based on the court’s order.

Voluntary Support Agreement

It is an agreement voluntarily signed by the parties regarding child support. To make this agreement enforceable, it has to be signed by the judge. It is not essential that the amount mentioned in the agreement has to be based according to the child support guidelines. The child support payment method must also be mentioned in the agreement. The agreement must also mention how often the payment must be made.

Child Support Enforcement Agency

Child support petitions can also be filed with the child support enforcement agency. North Carolina Child Support Services (NCCSS) provides support to people who need help from a local office to gain child support and administers the North Carolina child support program under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act. NCCSS provides various functions such as the location of non-custodial parents, paternity establishment, collection of support, etc. However, NCCSS does not provide custody and visitation rights. The applicant must make the application to the NCCSS and must attach all necessary documents required for this purpose.

Documents for filing child support in NC

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The following documents must be provided by the applicant to NCCSS while making an application for child support:

  • Proof of income
  • Copy of photo-ID
  • Copy of child’s birth certificate
  • Copy of Social Security Card
  • Copy of marriage certificate
  • Any other relevant documents, such as court order establishing parentage, etc.

Complaint in Court

Child support can be obtained by filing a civil complaint in court. The other party must be served with a copy of the complaint. The other party must respond to the complaint within 30 days of receiving the notice. The documents relating to the expenses of the child must be submitted to the court to obtain a child support order. The income proof must be submitted to the court for deducting the child support amount from the monthly paycheck. 

If a complaint is filed for child support after executing a separation agreement, the court will provide the order based on the amount mentioned in the agreement and not according to the guidelines.

Applying for child support can be difficult. First, you need to present the case to the judge, who will determine child support based on the merits of the case. Thus it becomes crucial to know all the difficulties faced if you want to file a complaint for child support if the other party refuses to pay the child support. So you must always consult a lawyer in North Carolina who is well-versed in child support laws and can help you with all your doubts or queries regarding child support. 

Legamart offers the best solution for your issues regarding child support. They have a network of excellent lawyers who can advise you on all areas of family and children law, including custodial and non-custodial parental rights. Legamart also offers the translation of various documents into several different languages. You can also get your legal queries solved through Legamart. Depending upon your requirement you can choose a lawyer in the Legamart directory based on your requirements.

Child Support Calculation Law Table

The child support calculator will help you to determine how much child support is in NC. North Carolina Child Support Guidelines provide detailed help in calculating child support. North Carolina’s child support guidelines are based on the “income shares” model, developed under the Child Support Guidelines Project funded by the US Office of Child Support Enforcement and administered by the National Center for State Courts. This income model will calculate the child support through the income of the parents. These guidelines will be used when the court makes a temporary or permanent child support order in child support hearings.

According to Section 50-13.4 of the North Carolina General Statutes, the Conference of Chief District Judges must provide guidelines for determining child support and review them regularly. 

Several factors play an important role in deciding child support in NC, such as the number of overnights spent by the child with the parent, monthly gross income of the parent, pre-existing child support, Child care costs, Health Insurance premiums, and extraordinary expenses such as private education.


The main factor in calculating child support is the income of both parents. Both parents must attach income proof while the child support is calculated. The income statement will be verified, and then the child support will be calculated. 

Gross income means the income before deducting the taxes. This income means not just a salary but also includes a pension, capital gains, social security benefits, rents of property, etc. Gross income from self-employment or a business will also be considered. Reimbursements will also be included in the income if they reduce a person’s living expenses.

The court will calculate the child support based on the parent’s potential income if the parent is intentionally unemployed to avoid paying the child support. Potential income will be decided upon the parent’s assets, residence, employment potential, and probable earnings level based on the parent’s recent work history, occupational qualifications, and prevailing job opportunities.

Pre-existing Child Support

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Another factor that impacts child support calculation is pre-existing child support obligations. Child support already made for other children will be deducted from the parent’s gross income. 

Other Costs

Basic child support is determined using the schedule of basic child support obligations. Reasonable childcare costs include the cost of the daycare, which is to be included in calculating child support. The amount paid by the parent for the child’s healthcare is also included in determining the child’s support. A minimum of $250 per child must be spent on the child’s annual uninsured medical and/or dental expenses. 

Child Support Worksheets

The child support can be calculated based on the child support worksheets. The worksheet will include the income of both parents. 

Worksheet A will be used if one parent has the primary physical custody of the child for whom the child support is to be calculated. The parent will have the primary physical custody of the child if the child has spent 243 nights with the parent. The child support will be calculated based on the income of both parents, but the parent who does not have primary physical custody is required to pay child support to the other parent. 

Worksheet B will be used if the parents share custody of the child. Parents share custody of a child if the child lives with each parent for at least 123 nights during the year, and each parent assumes financial responsibility for the child’s expenses during the time the child lives with that parent. 

Worksheet C is used to calculate child support when primary physical custody of two or more children is split between the parents. One parent will have the primary custody of one child, and the other parent will have the primary custody of the other child.

Who can apply for Child Support?

The following persons can apply for child support in NC:

  • Parents
  • Legal guardian
  • Social Service agency
  • Non-parent caretaker

Modification of Child Support in NC

Motion to modify the child support can be made after three years of receiving the child support order. Child support can be modified if there is a change in the circumstances of the parent’s income. A difference of 15% or more of the child support paid under an existing order, and the amount of child support resulting from applying the guidelines based on the parent’s current income and circumstances is presumed to be a substantial change in circumstance. Motion to modify the child support can also be made if you have lost your job and cannot provide the child support mentioned in the order.

North Carolina Child Support FAQ

How long will child support payments have to be made?

Child support in NC has to be made till the child reaches the age of 18. If the child becomes emancipated, child support can be waived by the parents.

How is child support determined?

Child support payment is determined based on the factors mentioned in the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines. The child support payment will differ according to the type of child custody.

If I have joint child custody, do I still have to pay child support?

Yes. Even if both parents share custody of the child, child support must be paid by both parents. The child support will differ according to the time spent by the child and the parent’s income.


Child support in North Carolina is an important topic that can have a huge impact on the lives of families. It is important for both parents to understand their rights and responsibilities regarding child support and to work together to find the best arrangement for their child. With the right information and guidance, parents can ensure that their child gets the financial support they are entitled to while also providing a secure and loving home environment. With appropriate knowledge and understanding, child support can be a successful source of financial security for children in North Carolina.

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