If you’re going through a separation or divorce, it’s important to find a team of child support lawyers Greensboro residents can trust. Here at Morgenstern & Associates, we have over 40 years of combined experience with family law. Both Barbara Morgenstern and Ashley Bennington are board-certified family law specialists by the State Bar. Additionally, US World Reports ranks us as a Tier 1 law firm in a metropolitan area. We’ll help you get the support you deserve for your child or children.
What is Child Support?
Receiving child support sometimes has a negative connotation. We’ve all seen horror stories of exes fighting over child support. However, this money is used to directly benefit the child or children during a divorce or separation. Child support ensures that both parents are financially responsible for the costs of raising a child, even if one parent has custody of that child.
In North Carolina, child support for couples making less than $360,000 annually is calculated based on the number of children and the combined monthly income of both parents. This chart shows what you can expect to pay or receive in child support. However, keep in mind that these are base guidelines. The court can decide that the amount listed in the chart is inadequate or excessive. It takes into consideration both parents’ ability to pay, as well as the lifestyle and needs of the child. Likewise, the custody arrangement affects the level of child support which is paid. If each parent has at least 123 overnights with the children, then an offsetting of what each parent owes the other while the children are in his or her custody is employed.
Even if you are going through an amicable separation or divorce, we recommend speaking to a family lawyer in Greensboro. You deserve representation to ensure that any child support agreement is fair to all parties, especially the child.
Child Support Versus Spousal Support
Child support and spousal support are not the same thing, though you may want to search for the right divorce lawyer near me to speak about both topics. Often, one party will receive both child support and spousal support from the other.
Spousal support is also known as alimony. This type of support is based on your life as a married couple. Often, one partner makes more money than the other. In many cases, the other partner instead takes care of the house and children while working fewer hours or not working at all. So, during a divorce, one spouse or the other may be unfairly left without the financial means to maintain their lifestyle.
Although spousal support also depends on specific criteria such as income and length of marriage, there is no chart that determines the amount of support you should pay or receive. If you are paying or receiving child support as well, this is a separate court order.
Child Custody – Does This Affect Support?
Child custody and child support are often decided at the same time. This is typically the most emotional part of any divorce. After all, any parent should want to do what is right for their child. Unfortunately, many parents don’t see eye to eye about what is the best decision.
Usually, the parent with physical custody is the one who receives child support. However, often physical custody is split between parents.
“Legal” custody is important as well. Physical custody dictates where a child lives as well as visitation rights. However, legal custody refers to decisions about education, religious upbringing, and medical care. Even if one parent has sole physical custody, both parents might share in these legal decisions.
Remember, child custody and child support agreements are enforceable contracts. In other words, if you violate these agreements, you will likely find yourself back in court. If you disagree with an order regarding custody or support, it is always better to work with a family law Greensboro NC team of attorneys to try to have the order changed.
FAQs about Child Support
We would love to speak with you directly about your divorce and any child support or custody issues you may have. It’s important to have a team of child support lawyers. Here are a few questions our clients frequently ask about child support.
Is a child support order permanent?
Child support can be temporary or permanent. Even with a permanent support order, however, a judge may opt to amend the amount if the situation changes. For example, if one spouse loses their job or gets a new, higher-paying job, the amount of child support can change. Typically, if income changes by 15% or more, a judge will consider modifying the support amount as long as the order is at least 3 years old.
What happens if my spouse is underemployed or unemployed?
If one party attempts to avoid paying support by being willfully underemployed or unemployed, a judge could impute income. This means that the judge will decide to require more support from the parent. A judge does this if it is clear that the parent is hiding income, refusing to seek employment, or willingly working a job way below their earning potential in order to pay less in support. Imputing income is done on a case-by-case basis. If you believe your ex-spouse is hiding income, or purposely underemployed/unemployed, we can work with a forensic accountant to help your child get the support they deserve.
How can I choose the best child support lawyers Greensboro has to offer?
Choose a team that has experience with child support, first and foremost. Here at Morgenstern & Associates, we specialize in family law. This means, we focus specifically on divorce, custody, support, and property division. It’s impossible to be experts in all areas of law, so choose a legal team that has experience with cases like yours.
Every situation is different, so it is impossible to give advice about your specific child support case online. Give us a call at (336) 203-9110 today to set up an appointment so we can give you specific advice about your divorce.