Certainly, children are expensive. The USDA estimates the average middle-class American family will spend approximately $12,980 annually per child on necessities. Moreover, the average annual pay for a single parent is only approximately $51,300. Therefore, as a couple undergoes a divorce, the parent with primary physical custody may need child support. When searching for a qualified child support lawyer in Greensboro NC, choose Morgenstern & Associates.
The Purpose Of Child Support
All parents, even after a divorce, must continue to support and care for their children. Most divorcing couples love their children and work to reach an agreement to provide for their kids. However, some parents are irresponsible and attempt to abandon their offspring.
In an attempt to provide for these children, federal and state legislatures passed laws setting up child support. Fundamentally, child support attempts to give children the lifestyle they would have enjoyed if their parents had not separated.
Calculating Child Support Payments
State law dictates child support. Most states, including North Carolina, use the income shares model for determining the amount of child support. Under this concept, the court combines all the income of both parents before determining financial assistance. This means in addition to your base salary, the court will include bonuses, pensions, and other forms of income.
Next, the court determines the type of custody. One parent may have primary physical custody or parents may share custody. Typically, the non-custodial makes payments. However, it can get a bit more complicated when parents share custody. Generally, a parent shares custody if the child spends at least 123 nights in their home.
Moreover, the court will also consider a parent’s existing obligation to other children. Finally, the court looks at all the child’s expenses. In addition to basic necessities, this may also include education, childcare, health insurance and extracurricular activities.
After taking into consideration all these factors, the court will calculate child support payments. The judge uses a formula governed by North Carolina Child Support Guidelines. You can easily access an online calculator to help you estimate the amount.
Why You Need Family Law Attorneys In Greensboro NC
Sometimes, when undergoing a divorce, money may be tight. With the forms for child support online, you may try to save a few pennies by not hiring a lawyer. However, saving money now may mean a loss of rights in the long term.
Navigating complex laws and filing complicated forms is challenging. Any type of family law matter dispute needs the experience of a specialized attorney to achieve the best possible results. An experienced family law attorney can guide you through your divorce, property settlement, child custody, and support.
At Morgenstern & Associates, we understand your financial challenges. One of our primary objectives is to keep the cost as reasonable as possible.
Child Support Lawyer In Greensboro NC – FAQs
The law is dynamic and complex. Moreover, the particular circumstances of your case can result in a different outcome than your friend’s family law issue. To help you understand some aspects of the law, we’ve answered a few of our most commonly asked questions.
What Happens If My Spouse Doesn’t Pay?
Whether you reach an agreement inside or outside of court, child support orders become legally binding documents. A failure to follow the terms in a court order may result in serious consequences:
- Garnishment of wages
- Seizure of property
- Revocation/suspension of driver’s license/professional license/passport
- Interception of tax refund
- Federal criminal prosecution
- Jail time
However, the law recognizes changes in circumstances and allows for modifications. Sometimes, your income may change due to disability, serious illness, or other changes in financial circumstances. Or, your child may have an increase in unanticipated medical expenses.
A qualified law firm like Morgenstern & Associates can help you petition the court for a modification of your original order. We can review your circumstances and help you gather evidence proving a substantial change of circumstances.
How Long Must I Pay Child Support?
Generally, the law does not obligate a parent to support a child past the age of 18. However, you’ll find some special circumstances allowed in the law. For example, you may have to continue paying child support if your child is still in high school.
Why Do I Need A Lawyer If My Ex-Spouse And I Agree On Child Support?
Sometimes, divorcing couples are cooperative. Together, they work out their differences to produce a child custody and support agreement. Such couples may feel a lawyer is unnecessary.
However, you may not have considered all the legal aspects of your arrangement. In forging your agreement, you may have neglected to account for all your child’s needs or expenses. If you have a private agreement, your spouse can refuse or even stop making payments.
A lawyer can help you draft an agreement considering all facets of the law while protecting your child’s interest. Then, your attorney can file the necessary paperwork for your agreement to become a child support order and fully enforceable.
How Do I Find A Good Lawyer?
When you need a child support lawyer in Greensboro NC, look for one with extensive experience in family law. Additionally, attorneys who are board-certified specialists in family law have formal recognition of knowledge and experience in that area.
Both Barbara R. Morgenstern and Ashley D. Bennington of Morgenstern & Associates are board-certified specialists in family law. With more than 40 years of combined experience in family law, we’ve handled many different types of child support cases. Moreover, we’ve received many honors and awards from North Carolina legal organizations.
Do you want to discuss the details of your case? Call us at 336-203-9110.