Child Custody and Support

Custody

Whenever children are involved in a divorce, it can complicate the process and increases the importance of gaining specific outcomes. Indeed, it can often be the most contentious aspect of any divorce proceeding – raising the stakes, and potential complexity, exponentially.

North Carolina law requires that the child's best interest always be put first, and the court will look to ensure that it is. Custody of the child will determine whom the child lives with or if they move back and forth between parents. Usually, the best custodial arrangements are individually tailored to the ages of the children and take into consideration family traditions, travel complications, school, and activity obligations of the children and work commitments of the parents. More so than in any other area of family law, custody arrangements cannot be standardized. What works for another family might not work for you.

In addition, support may be provided to a parent with greater custody rights. Even though one parent takes more of the parenting responsibility, it does not mean they will take on the financial responsibility alone.

With a mix of finesse and strength, we will negotiate and advocate your rights to the fullest extent of the law to ensure that both your interests and the interests of your children are best protected.

Support

It is important to understand the rules in North Carolina before beginning a child-support negotiation. If the combined gross annual income of the parents is $300,000 or less, child support is generally based on the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines. That's a formula that takes into account:

  • The gross monthly income of each parent
  • The annual number of overnights with each parent
  • The cost of the children's medical insurance premium
  • Work-related child care costs
  • Rarely, extraordinary expenses such as visitation travel, private school, or physical/occupational/speech therapy

If the parents' combined annual income exceeds $300,000, child support is determined without a formula. The analysis turns to the parties' respective incomes and the reasonable needs and expenses of the children.

Typically included are medical and dental insurance, the payment of uninsured medical expenses, and extracurricular activity expenses as part of child support.

If the opposing party is not paying his or her court-ordered child support obligation, we can assist you in filing a contempt motion against the other party. We can also obtain a wage withholding order.