You may be asking “how do I get custody of my son or daughter?” Whenever children are involved in a relationship that ends, it’s a complicated process. North Carolina law requires the child’s best interest always be put first. Child custody will answer who the child lives with or if the parents share custody, having the child move back and forth between parents. Child support will ensure the child’s needs are being addressed financially. Even though one parent takes more of the parenting responsibility, it does not mean they will take on the financial responsibility alone. In North Carolina, there are child support guidelines with 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 may be included.
Looking for a child support calculator? North Carolina Child Support Enforcement has a handy child support calculator that provides worksheets for primary, joint/shared, and split custody.
If the parents' combined annual income exceeds $300,000, child support is determined without a formula and is based on the reasonable needs of the children.
If you’ve already been granted child support but aren’t receiving court-ordered child support payments, we can assist you in filing a contempt motion against the other party as well as helpl seek a wage withholding (garnishment) order.
Visitation and Relocation Issues In North Carolina
There is no set or recommended schedule that the courts use to determine visitation. Parents are encouraged to work together to develop a parenting time sharing agreement and getting it approved by the court. In contested situations, Judges base their recommendations on several factors, including the age of the child, the distance between both parents, and the unique characteristics of the child, the physical and mental health of all parties, and dozens of other small bits of information. There is no state statute on move-away situations. You do not need the other parent's permission unless it is required by a prior court order or Separation Agreement. The courts follow the best interest of the child standard and will allow a move if it benefits the child. However, if a parent shows bad faith, or is trying to move the children away to limit the other parent's time with the children, a motion can be filed to change the custody order. At Hutchens Law Firm, our Fayetteville child custody attorney understands the complex legal issues associated with custody and visitation and wants to help protect what you value most - your children.